Among the directors that I anticipate every new release the most with, directors Joel and Ethan Coen are at the top. For starters, their track record is very impressive with most of their great work still coming out (though that's not to discredit everything else from the past 30 years). With their last film, Inside Llewyn Davis, they brought another masterpiece to the world in the disguise of a folk singer with a cat. This time around, they give us a loving ode to Hollywood's golden era with an all-star cast in the film Hail Caesar. While it's been awhile since they tackled the moving pictures (1991's Barton Fink), it's nice to see them return with a more slapstick attitude about it. At least, that's what's implied by the first trailer.
I don't think that I'm the only one out there who loves The Coen Brothers. Pound for pound, they are the most consistent directors currently working. Even as they shift between comedy and drama (usually both at the same time), they manage to master their own absurd take on the world with charisma and power. The aforementioned Inside Llewyn Davis is among my favorite of theirs and I am impressed that after almost 30 years of making movies, they have yet to have a lull period for more than one or two films. It's insane logic that causes me to be hopeful of everything that they do. With their latest, I'm expecting them to throttle everything about their eccentric nature into one madness of a beast.
Check out the trailer below:
Looks very good, doesn't it? Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
A Hollywood fixer in the 1950's works to keep the studio's stars in line.
While this is an adequate plot description and everyone involved should get you excited, here's further description that will solidify its intrigue for you. According SlashFilm:
As explained by composer Carter Burwell, Hail, Caesar! “takes place on a Hollywood backlot, so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there.” The musical sequences will differ with each film in progress. Burwell described one of them as “a tap-dance water number,” which seems to be the one Johansson’s actress character is involved in above.
Burwell's other comment is that this is going to be a more serious film about faith. So, for those desperately waiting for a movie-satirizing film like Barton Fink, you won't have to wait long. Teaming back up with reliable player George Clooney, the directors are set to make an ambitious film that will hopefully be rich with homages to Hollywood's golden era while also providing something richer. While the complaints right now are that Hail Caesar's release date is rather early in the year. While this should get Oscar pundits (like myself) concerned, I am aware that quality isn't depicted by month. Remember that The Grand Budapest Hotel opened in March of 2014 and went on to receive a Best Picture nomination. Despite bad track records in the past, The Academy is starting to become more aware of months prior to July.
Even if Hail Caesar isn't going to be Oscar worthy (Inside Llewyn Davis only received two Oscar nominations), it's sure nice to see that the fun and loving Coen Brothers are still willing to play with our expectations. The large cast and diverse array of talents is enough to get me excited. Part of me is curious to see if this is also secretly an ode to 50's musicals, as insinuated by Burwell. That would probably be the most exciting of all to see their take on Stanley Donen, Vincente Minelli, Mark Sandrich, and Busby Berkeley films. Of course, that's all just speculation. February just got a lot more exciting. I cannot wait.