11 Mar 2016

Video: Hail, Caesar! review

From Widescreen, 6:55 pm on 11 March 2016

Hail, Caesar! isn't the tightest Coen Brothers film ever but the hidden depths should make it pretty satisfying on multiple viewings.


More on Hail, Caesar!

A couple of Coen-related links on Widescreen earlier today.


Richard Swainson reviews this film and The Lady in the Van on Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan:


Simon Morris reviews Hail, Caesar! along with Mahana and 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi on At the Movies:


Graeme Tuckett for Fairfax gives it four stars while his colleague James Croot gives it four and a half and Sarah Watt of Sunday Star-Times (also Fairfax) rated it four stars. None of whom appear to be interested in subtext.


Matt Glasby at Flicks was less impressed - three stars.


Finally, Doug Dillaman at Letterboxd wrote a terrifically thoughtful piece:

The body, the blood, the machine: the Coens' return to the subject of Hollywood eschews BARTON FINK's singular paranoid worldview for a tripartite perspective, with many breaks to explore its product in its ostensible glory. In one of the most blatant callbacks to BARTON FINK (apart from the "Wallace Beery Conference Room", which presumably doesn't require a roadmap to reach), the water no longer breaks on a single rock but on two rocks, echoing the schism here between the head and the body of the system. Barton Fink failed because he didn't understand how to encode meaning into programmatic pictures, but a decade later, it's an art, writers using innocent entertainment as vessel for Communism. The film teaches the viewer to read hidden messages said screenwriters place inside art, then shows that message, an ostensibly subversive timebomb freighted inside a Christian tale. But of course that's the message of HAIL, CAESAR! A TALE OF THE CHRIST, the film within the film. The message of the film itself, though - where is that? Or are the Coens, like their fiercest critics say, full of postmodernist bullshit, slinging around freefloating signifiers for shits and giggles?