No self-respecting movie fan could possibly ignore a new movie by the Coen Brothers, arguably the most distinctive and consistent filmmakers working today. While they have been known to drift a little too far off course with their comedies (Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers, and Burn After Reading come to mind), their latest comic creation is one of the most striking triumphs of their career. Like most of their best films, Hail, Caesar! taps into their passion for Hollywood history—and history in general—to create a vivid and imaginative portrait of a bygone era.
Bringing together the Old Hollywood eccentricities of Barton Fink, the mid-century paranoia of A Serious Man, and the colourful Los Angeles digressions of The Big Lebowski, Hail, Caesar! follows movie studio “fixer” Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin in a career-best performance) as he navigates countless dramas unfolding on the Capitol Pictures lot. The most prominent of these is the kidnapping of a major star: Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). This premise offers the Coen Brothers an opportunity to explore an unusually wide variety of genres and themes, bringing them into contact with some of modern Hollywood’s most celebrated actors. Among the film’s many cameos, these four leave the strongest impression.

Ralph Fiennes

Wes Anderson has been riffing on the Coen Brothers’ sensibilities for years, and they return the favour by casting Ralph Fiennes as Laurence Laurentz, a pompous filmmaker not unlike The Grand Budapest Hotel’s M. Gustave. Laurentz’s efforts to direct Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) are so amusing they earned
their own trailer.

Tilda Swinton

Another veteran of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tilda Swinton turns up in her second Coen Brothers movie (after Burn After Reading), playing a pair of feuding twins—who also happen to be rival gossip columnists.

Frances McDormand

Coen Brothers regular (and longtime wife of Joel Coen) Frances McDormand turns up as a crusty old film editor. In this fleeting appearance, she learns a hilarious lesson about suitable cutting room attire.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum doesn’t get to say much in Hail, Caesar!, but he does get another opportunity to show off his dancing skills in “No Dames,” an On the Town-style musical number full of amusing innuendo. Between this and the Magic Mike movies, Tatum is fast becoming an unlikely heir to Fred Astaire.
Hail, Caesar! is in theatres now. The trailer only scratches the surface of what this film has to offer, but feel free to watch it below.