I went to a movie with Zach, HAIL CAESAR!, at the modest local movie house. I was happy to see that the theater, admittedly a small one, was basically full for a Saturday afternoon grownup movie. “All the grownups in Carroll Gardens are here,” said Z. (The ones not owning children: those were flocking to ZOOTOPIA, also at that theater.) So much more pleasant than the modern zilloplex up the road. Plus they are showing the National Theatre HAMLET on Wednesday. I wonder if I can find an unemployed friend to go to the 2:00 show with me.
Anyway, HAIL CAESAR. Silly but handsome and basically good-natured, kind of like George Clooney’s character, now I think of it. You do suspect that the Coen boys thought of the movie genre setpieces and stock characters they’d like to recreate and then came up with a “plot” to connect them together. I mean, kidnapped by Commie screenwriters (to a modernist cliffside gem in Malibu)? Go for: the water ballet; Scarlett Johansson’s accent; the sailors’ musical number; Josh Brolin’s sincerity; the adorable Alden Ehrenreich; Clooney’s beefy, sandal-strapped calves; and the palmiest palm trees. I even enjoyed Tilda Swinton’s double act. I will have to quit saying I can’t stand her.