By Adam Schalke
The Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, are unique amongst Hollywood’s iconic artists in the sense that they have rejected conforming to a creative niche in favor of creating consistently good work across multiple genres. Their latest output, the excellent period piece “Hail Caesar!,” is the result of the two artists taking a second to relax and admire their work.
“Hail Caesar!” is set in the 1950’s, and stars Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix, who works at the fictitious Capitol Pictures as a fixer who keeps the scandalous behavior of the studio’s clients out of the hands of the press.
The studio is working on its next major release, a historical drama of the same name as the actual film, when their starring actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), is kidnapped by a mysterious group known as “The Future” who hold him ransom for $100,000. This forces Mannix to do everything in his power to keep the kidnapping out of the tabloids while the studio organizes a plan to retrieve its missing star.
“Hail Caesar!” is unique in that it feels almost like a Coen Brothers’ greatest hits set to film.
Previous collaborators Brolin, Clooney and Tilda Swinton return to the cast, bringing tone and dry humor reminiscent of earlier Coen comedies like “Burn After Reading” and the cult classic “The Big Lebowski.”
“Hail Caesar!” is another great effort by two of Hollywood’s most creative minds.