Hail, Caesar!

In Hail, Caesar! we see a recurring motive of the Cohen Brothers: One protagonist, who comes out of the plot unharmed and affirmed of his or her current life. In Fargo, for example, it is Frances McDormand as Sherrif Marge Gunderson. In Hail, Caesar! it is Josh Brolin as Eddi Mannix. He struggles more with his current life situation than Marge in Fargo. But yet, both see the problems of the people around them and can appreciate their own lives more. For me, this gives the films something comforting.

Hail, Caesar! is a love letter to the old Hollywood but also a satire on it. We have a nostalgic setting, with big sets, different kind of actors and directors. But at every moment, the Cohens break the simple picture of 50s Hollywood, with its gossip columnists and communists, and make fun of it. They show us, how the dream factory is a charade in itself. I was afraid that it would drift into a self-praise of Hollywood. But this luckily didn't happen.

The structure has a framing story with many little clips. It's like a tour through different movie genres, from Western to step-dancing and from aquatic to sandal movies. The repetition of first showing us the scene, and then breaking it didn't get boring, at least for me.

But still this isn't the best Cohen movie. The Clip-structure can't tell a great story, like in Fargo or No Country for Old Men. I think though that the Cohens didn't want to tell a big story. They focused on the visuals, which is ok.