Hail, Caesar! is a very interesting film as it's a time piece oriented around the olden days of Hollywood and really is more about the creation behind those classic movies. While it does host a wide variety of big talent with so many well known actors the story is really focused around Eddie Mannix (played by Josh Brolin) and what he has to do in order to make the studio run smoothly. It takes that character as a primary perspective and follows his day to day activities around the lot with a certain abduction of his biggest client Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) being a bigger one. One of the more interesting aspects of seeing what Mannix deals with is that you get to see and hear about every aspect of production. One of the more interesting things about Hollywood is its love for past versions of itself and this movie really captures the whole process of those golden days. You get to view things such as dealing with the many actors, the post-production room and takes from the various sets. There are of course some aspects of comedy present though really not as much as most had expected. I was mostly fine with this aspect as the film was more enchanting in another sense showing what makes movies so special and what they're about. There was just something so glorious about seeing the whole calming water dance scene with Scarlett Johansson as DeeAnna Moran (not a major character) being centered or the epic large scale scenes of Hail, Caesar! that was filmed as a main piece.
There were of course many other scenes such as a great song and dance scene about dames with Channing Tatum (playing Burt Gurney). Another example of a set was a more intimate scene with Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) trying to get a scene done. Fiennes played the director which was given the actor Hobie Doyle after the studio got the request for him to receive a new image and be in this classy film. This was an entirely new thing for Doyle as the character was usually in westerns saying a few lines so it quite humorous seeing him adjust. I also really liked this character as he did become one of the larger aspects of the film and you could see his desire to just really please the studio with a grateful attitude of what they have done for him. All the actors in the film were actually great in displaying the various levels of emotion and giving a great reaction of a behind the scenes style. While you did get to see many portions of films being captured mostly everything was shown at a technical level. Think of it as having minor moments of peace watching the films and moments of rushed play during the breaks. I generally liked what I saw though the movie though I couldn't help but feel that the pace got a slow towards the middle of the movie and many of the character paths didn't go anywhere or contribute to the overall story. This was fine since they were showing the production side of things though the movie still did had an overall slowness to it. I was also expecting a bit more out of the whole reveal of the kidnapping and the aspects around that though I won't spoil things.
Hail, Caesar! isn't a title that everyone will love or really even appreciate though it's still a solid film. It's less about this whole kidnapping scenario or even the various character lines and more about the man that keeps the whole show running. There were some aspects of godly connections to happenings in the film and the main character Mannix with this working out well. It wasn't an overall pushy aspect though something to see as a theme throughout the film. While I do wish there was more done with the talent they had instead of so many separate story lines they did have enough meaning even though it provided a more slow core of the film. The best parts of the movie were definitely seeing the filming in action as those were peaceful and full of some sort of glamour. It's a great time piece that looks at a golden age of film and the story behind how those films get produced.
Review for Hail, Caesar! at Theater with Standard Viewing