IS it a comedy? A chick-flick? A thriller? A mystery? Not one of those labels on its own adequately describes the genre of this clever little movie written by Jessica Sharzer adapting Darcey Bell’s debut […]
INITIALLY, Hollywood studios didn’t make movies. They made money. And took themselves very seriously in an industry waxing fat making shadows on a screen to divert the public from life’s realities.
The studios have lost much of their former dominance. The rest remains unchanged.
Written, produced and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen, “Hail, Caesar!” is a comedy about an imaginary working day for Eddie Mannix, MGM’s mid-1900s real-life fixer of things that could run off the rails. Josh Brolin plays Eddie with enthusiastic brio.
It’s the middle of the 20th century. Today’s major issues confronting Capital Films are who to cast for the main part in the studio’s biggie, how to conceal a star’s pregnancy when she’s unsure who dunnit, where is the star (George Clooney) of a major movie who’s suddenly gone missing, what can the studios do to combat the menace of leftie writers wanting a share of the take, and how to conceal the gay proclivities of the boys in the chorus line (Channing Tatum may not be the world’s best ever hoofer, but he taps a mean toe).
Across all these little niggly bits strides Eddie, exercising awesome delegated power over the mini-empire within the studio’s walls, dispensing favours and other largesses if the price is right (just ask gossip columnist twins – Tilda Swinton – ready to slit each other’s throats to score the exclusive fluff that sells tomorrow’s newspapers) and behind the studio’s back doing a deal to run a TV channel.
Thank heaven the studios no longer rule the roost and film-making is now a much more independent and corporately-co-operative activity. Don’t you just love that forest of logos preceding the movie you’ve paid to see, whoever stumped up the money and influence to make it?
At Capitol 6, Palace Electric, Dendy and Hoyts