Monday, 7 March 2016

Hail, Caesar in Notting Hill

IMG_3355 Notting Hail Gate
Off to see Hail, Caesar at the Electric on Sunday.

Well, the hail part certainly happened, and that was just on the way to the cinema. I'd already enjoyed the trailer for this Coen Brothers movie, but also wondered whether it would have the necessary twists and turns to make it something special.

For my view, it didn't.

It certainly had some fun with the movies, including a wide range of set pieces, some of which, in old-style musical tradition, didn't really advance the plot line. It somehow reminded me of a busy day in fixer Eddie Mannix's schedule, where the appointments had been filled in by someone else and he had to duck and weave to keep up. The stars were out in force, with Channing Tatum channeling sailor suited Gene Kelly, Scarlett Johansson being swimming star Esther Williams. Clooney was any number of Ben Hur and Spartacus stars and Tilda Swinton got to be both Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons.

And so the list and movie references goes on - like this Alden Ehrenreich cowboy sequence.

It meant there were various themes running along, intercut with time on set and in the screening and editing suites. The movie was playful with references and there's certainly enough to make a whole series of great scenes for reviews and similar. As an overall narrative, point of view or plot line, I found it weak. There were hopeful moments, but they somehow sank away.

I'm glad I've seen it and I can see that it is affectionate of the movie making machine, but somehow it didn't have the real twists of a classic Coen movie.

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