Gonna start this one off with a fat name drop: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill. They are but a few of the names starring in the Cohen Brothers latest film, Hail Caesar!
And what a film it is. Clever, funny, and so, so entertaining. There’s not a minute of the film where you stop and think about anything else other than what is on the screen in front of you. Not even nachos, or what Brendan Dassey is doing in jail right now. Set in the early 1950’s, the film centers around Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) as head of Capitol Pictures as he oversees the production of the blockbuster of the year, Hail, Caesar!, starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). Before the film wraps, Whitlock gets kidnapped, and that’s when we’re introduced to the most endearing slew of characters your corneas have ever clocked. Seriously, you’ve never met a more likable cast in your film feasting life—As in, even Channing Tatum is likable. Tilda is equally easy to love as Thora and Thessaly Thacker, a set of gossip-hound twins competing for the exclusive, but no one comes close to Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), the adorable cowboy heartthrob of Hollywood. Hobie is impossible not to like—a simpleton with a 20 karat heart who just wants to lasso stuff. By chance, Hobie becomes entangled with the whole kidnapping saga, and you’re gifted with the best present of all: more Hobie screen time than Clooney. Merry Christmas!
The whole film is a tongue in cheek nod to the splendour and stupidity of old Hollywood, and it’s refreshing as hell to see a bunch of Tinseltown’s big-wigs in on the joke. Sure, there are moments where it’s obvious the Cohen bros are just flexing their industry biceps—Jonah Hill’s character barely has two lines and could have been played by anyone—but it’s annoyingly impossible not to feel a little impressed by their power.
It’s hard to put a film this magic into words, because it was made to exist on the big screen, not the little one you use for googling how long chewing gum really takes to digest. It’s 2 days, not 7 years. If you enjoy being entertained and are looking for a new imaginary best bud, look no further than Hail, Caesar! and it’s star, Hobie Doyle.