If you feel nostalgic with old Hollywood, this may be the movie for you. A fictional version of That’s Entertainment(1974) with montages: kaleidoscopic synchronized swimming and tap dancing sailors, that defined Hollywood in the 50s and 60s. And they are very well done. We also have the colossal cast for the making of Hail, Caesar! that takes the scale of Ben-Hur(1959). Stages, offices, props, and trailers all inside the movie studios lots. The main character is Eddie Mannix(Josh Brolin), what we call today The GoTo Person, an executive that must problem solve, so that the studio will not be bleeding money before the movie has finished production: box-office success un-talents, famous poster girl with muffin in her belly, closeted directors, actors,…etc. The things that no longer a worry in 2016: morales. And taking a page from Trumbo(2015): Red spies and comrades meets. The cinematography and photography are beautiful, and period accurate. There is really nothing not to like, and nothing to wow either.
Eddie is a studio executive, who runs a busy life, and seldom gets home to spend time with his family. There are too many quandaries to deal with in a day for the studio’s stars, directors, and gossip reporters. But Eddie handles them all with grace. The most urgent on his plate is the disappearance of his mega-star lead actor, Baird Whitlock(George Clooney), during the final production of Hail, Caesar! No time can be wasted for daily production cost is in the thousands.
Then there are scandalous stories in the brewing, that he needs to control before it gets out of hands. And a secret society of writers and academia attending to their secret meeting agenda. On and on they go.
While all of these happening, Eddie is being poached by an elite company not in the show biz. His own dilemma although stays in the background, he needs to make a decision soon.
Brolin pretty much carries the entire movie, and he does a wonderful job: totally in character.
WATCH… nothing to loose.