COEN BROTHERS – CLOONEY – HAIL CAESAR – 2016
A small film that makes fun of Hollywood and the modern
world, though it speaks of the old times. Some scenes are funny though
altogether this humor is slightly warped.
The western cowboy actor is funny
and the scene of “Lazy Ol’ Moon” is hilarious. And the song is so sad and
nostalgic. He sounds like my Swedish
Cowboy singing Peter Pan (https://myspace.com/city-cowboy/music/songs) : nostalgia
of the good old days when we were young, children, toddlers.
The kidnapping or abduction of
the Roman legionnaire (Clooney) by some communists and his instant Stockholm
syndrome is funny and the treatment of this PTSS by his boss at the studio is
even more than funny since he is treated like a child with four slaps across
the face. Which does not make him lose his Latin, but definitely makes him lose
The deeply superficial discussion
of Jesus by four people, a rabbi, a Catholic priest, an Orthodox patriarch and
what is going to be assumed to be a simple Protestant Joe Blow is absurd but so
cut off from reality and from the real question about Jesus that we feel we
have been dumped in some loony-bin. I just wonder why the children of Ismail, Abraham’s
first son, in other words the Arabs, in other words the Muslims have not been
included. Or is that not kosher enough for the Coen Brothers?
The sudden conversion of the
Roman Legionnaire to Christianity, though the actor has just been boxed over
the ears by his boss and told to please do the only thing he is paid for, be a
star, would have been convincing, nearly convincing, at best hypocritical, if
he had not lost his faith. You see god exists and he is looking after us and
the dumb things we may be doing or saying.
The Soviet submarine in Malibu is so unreal and all that happens then is so absurd
that we wonder if the Coen brothers are laughing at the Russians, hence Putin,
or the West, hence NATO and the USA.
One thing is sure the red danger is quite a farce and the only danger we are
running into is just forgotten. It is true Jesus dies at the 9th
hour and he is buried at the 11th hour. Are the Coen brothers making
fun of our fear in aftermath of 9/11 though we use 911 at any moment in the
daytime and at night for any little trivial family affair or marital
The Russian songs used in the
film though are of course the Red Army’s rendition of them, and I loved Kalinka
that I taught in Russian to my French students and to my colleague’s Spanish
students in Dunn, North Carolina
, in 1970. The Americans have
always loved those popular and traditional Russian songs and the Red Army here is
probably the only real, realistic and true note (for music it is the good word)
in the film. Let’s say authentic.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU