Movie : Hail, Caesar!

This movie is like a tribute to Hollywood in the 1950s – there is the autocratic studios (the fictional Capitol Pictures Studios), singing cowboys, dancing sailors, water ballet, Bible epics and powerful gossip columnists. It is at the same time a satire, and a joy to watch.

It is also a delight to watch so many stars in the same movie –

  • Josh Brolin (as Eddie mannix, who trouble-shoots, delivers bad news, mends star spats, soothes egos and kills rumours),
  • George Clooney (as Baird Whitlock, a Matinee idol who is kidnapped during a shoot),
  • Scarlett Johansson (as Dee Anna Moran), star of synchronised swim extravaganzas who has a crisis of reputation),
  • Ralph Fiennes (as director Laurence Laurentz, and one of MY idols),
  • Tilda Swinton (playing dual roles as sisters who are both gossip columnists about to reveal a career-wrecking piece of information),
  • Channing Tatum (as a singing sailor-on-shore-leave) and
  • Jonah Hill (as a solicitor).

There are several memorable lines:

  • Everyone of us has a little bit of good in us,
  • There is unity in division and division in unity.
  • All the writers write but their works are owned by the studios.
  • It’s nice to be wanted.
  • People don’t want the facts. They want to believe.

The biggest bonus is the music. There are so many beautiful songs and nice music (whether sung a capella, by a choir, or played by a solo instrument like the cello, or by the entire orchestra) that I lost count. Three that left the deepest impression on me are

  • Jacques Offenbach’s Bacarolle from Tales of the Hoffman,
  • Lehar’s The Merry Widow Waltz and
  • Billy Hill’s song, The Glory Of Love.
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