For three decades, the Coen brothers have been making some of the best movies of their generation. Their unique style of storytelling has cemented them as one of the few original voices left in popular cinema and has made many of their films modern classics. Last week I finally went to see their newest film, Hail Caesar and I'm happy to report that it yet another masterpiece.
The backdrop of the film is old Hollywood, on the back lot of the fictional Capital Pictures, a thinly veiled portrayal of the once unstoppable juggernaut of MGM. It pays homage to all of the different genres and stars that were popular in the era. There are several perfectly replicated scenes that reflect the cinema of the time, each one done with close attention to detail, and typically ending with a typically brilliant joke which the Coens are so good at doing.
While dealing with studio exploitation, the hysteria surrounding communism, and the need to hide the private vices of anyone associated with Hollywood, the film uses an entertaining noire frame tale to contain the many moving parts. The result is a delightful movie that kept me entertained and frequently laughing. And like many of their best movies, it's one that can be watched again and again, revealing new references and jokes each time.