Let's just get this straight right out of the gate: 'Hail, Caesar!' is goofy as hell.
But dammit...it worked like magic on me. By depicting an insane day in the life of a old Hollywood studio executive, the Coen Brothers not only deliver some zany comedy, but a parable that essentially compares the old studio system to dictatorial communism.
The cast is remarkable with everyone delivering high comedic prowess but the unexpected MVP here for me was actually Alden Ehrenreich…
It's somewhat remarkable how well this film holds up 24 years after its original release. Swap out the tacky score by Marc Shaiman and update the wardrobe and you'd have a courtroom drama that works just as effectively as anything released today.
Also, Tom Cruise could not be prettier than he is in this movie. Fact.
Michael Moore has the power to turn people against each other in record time if you happen to disagree on his merits as a documentary filmmaker but with Bowling For Columbine I truly believe he defined a time period of American history better than any other cinematic resource. He asks some very difficult questions here that ultimately can't be answered definitively but as a conversation starter this is perfection.
The saddest thing about it though is that 10 years later…
If someone had told me ten years ago that Ben Affleck was about to direct three standout films in a row with the third film destined for numerous Oscar nominations, I would have slapped said person hard and unleashed a barrage of expletives at him/her with a thick (and horribly fake) Boston accent. At the time no one would have thought me out of line, but sure enough, Affleck has proven me wrong in a very big way.