[Prep for seeing Hail, Caesar! by revisiting my dialogue with Matt Zoller Seitz about the theology of the Coen Brothers.]
A powerful man sitting behind a desk? Check.
A suitcase full of money? Check.
A night drive on a dark and winding road? Check.
High-speed banter à la Preston Sturges? You betcha.
Yes indeed — Hail Caesar! is a movie by Joel and Ethan Coen. It has all of the defining characteristics.
In fact, it’s more like a Coen Brothers…
Thank God Almighty.
Director Ava Duvernay had a monumental task before her, making a high-profile motion picture focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, with a cast of famous names. What’s more, the closer the film has come to release, the more the headlines have shown us just how much we need a Great Film about Dr. King’s vision.
Even great directors would probably have disappointed us. Think of Spielberg’s Lincoln: Hey, I loved it, but I acknowledge that it…
I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…