Have you ever had the feeling that you were somewhere and you were like: “This was a little strange, but at the same time pretty good”. Well, I had that feeling after I watched Hail, Caesar! in the cinema last weekend. I already heard some stories about the producers of the movie. They make slightly different movies. So, I went there without expectations. Before I watched the movie, I have seen some trailers and it delighted my vintage heart that this movie was shot in a Vintage meets Present setting. I mean, how can I not see this movie that is set in the Golden Era. So, here is a little personal review of the movie Hail, Caesar!
1951, California. It’s the Golden Era of Hollywood. Meet Eddie Mannix a.k.a. the fixer at Capitol Pictures. And with fixer we mean that his main job is to keep scandalous filmstar behavior out of the newspapers. Eddie Mannix is quite a busy man. Let’s just say that he has a lot of fixing to do in one day. There are a lot movies to be produced and the most important one is: Hail, Caesar!
Here ends my summary. Short and sweet, because I don’t want to spoil too much for everyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet. You’ll thank me later when you’ve seen the movie. Of course, I do want you to watch this movie clip that has been circling around on the internet before the movie came out. Sailors and some good old tap dancing. This clip alone reminded me of the cheerful choreography of some actual Classic Hollywood movies:
Well, yes definitely. If you like vintage, retro and Classic Hollywood as much as I do, there is no doubt that you’ve already seen this movie or you’re planning to go and see it. Of course, my vintage love bubble colours my vision a teeny tiny little bit. “Did anyone say retro? Let’s go”. But even when you’re normally not into anything vintage or retro, this movie might pleasantly surprise you. For a number of reasons. Starting with the most important one: it’s different. In a good way. There is a reason why this movie is not being played in every Pathe theater. Secondly, of course…a very vintage meets present movie decor with a typical 1950s setting, including popular Hollywood stars of today. Actually, a lot of them. The cinematography reminds me a little bit of the way Mad Men was filmed. Also, Mad Men was a totally different serie than the nowadays “mainstream” series.
So this is not your typical nowadays Hollywood movie. In fact, the first 10 minutes I had to get into the Hael, Caesar! movie vibe. There is a lot going on in those 10 minutes and there are a lot of people involved. So pay attention. After 15 minutes, I was officially in the Hail, Caesar! zone. The most strong asset of this movie is humor. A lot of humor. It’s been a while since I’ve heard such nicely worked out dialogues with here and there a wink to the present. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably remember two specific hilarious scenes that literally made everyone laugh out loud in the cinema.
Next to that, of course vintage (fashion) fans, including myself, love the setting and the retro fashion style of the characters in this movie. For the women: Feminine, vintage inspired outfits, hats and wavy hair. For men: Hats and suits. Yep, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of vintage glamour in (everyday) life.
When it comes to the storyline, you should actually go to this movie without expectations. Of course, there is a main storyline, but don’t expect a very deep story line. However, there are some interesting plot twists. You may have seen that this movie has a lot of top Hollywood actors and they al have their own (little) shine moment in the story.
Besides the humor and glamour, there is also a direct reference to the real-life Hollywood film world back in the early 1950s. The film world was not really stable at that time. One of the main reasons was the rising of television for the main public, which was (in its early days) seen as a threat to the cinema world. Who would go to the cinema if you had a television at home? The answer of Hollywood was: Go big (or go home). The main focus was the production of adventurous blockbusters with top Hollywood actors and actresses in for example historical roman epos.
One way or another, this movie was worth watching in cinema in my opinion. I vote for more “a little strange, but good” vintage meets present movies, because they are still a little too rare in the current movie world.