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Saturday 12 March 2016

Throwing It All Away

L Parkruns at Forest Rec this morning. I play it safe and go for the bacon sandwich option instead.

We are both hiding in the bedroom from the football match as Derby unexpectedly take a 3-0 lead away at Rotherham. We come back downstairs in time to hear them throw it away and the game finishes 3-3.

Later we are at Broadway.

The latest film from the Coen Brothers 'Hail, Caesar!' depicts life in the Hollywood studios in the 1950s through the role of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) as the head of studio whose job it is to keep everything running smoothly.

The main problem he faces is keeping the Biblical epic ‘Hail, Caesar!’ on track after its star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped by a group of communist script writers (see ‘Trumbo’) known as ‘The Future’, who demand a $100,000 ransom in exchange for his safe return.

Then there’s DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), an actress who becomes pregnant out of wedlock in the middle of her film and there's Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), a cowboy actor in Westerns being asked to take over a part in a more serious role, where he really can't cut it.

Meanwhile Mannix is being seduced by a possible new employer, who offers him more money and the chance to be home in time for dinner with his wife every evening. 

Writing about it now the plot sounds like it has promise, so I'm not sure what exactly went wrong because it really didn't seem to work. 'Hail, Caesar!' is a rare thing, a disappointing Coen Brothers film.

For a start there are too many actors and actresses fighting for screen time because there are additional roles for Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton (twice, playing twins), Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand and many others.

The film is part tribute and parody of Hollywood's Golden Age with its many references to the films of that era but it’s an unfocussed one, that will fall flat on most of his audience who do not really go back that far.

In a way it’s the sort of film that Woody Allen would make and that wouldn’t have been for me either. It was probably great fun to make, much less to watch.

Post-film is again spent in the Golden Fleece. I think we need a drink after that one.

(Saturday 12th March)

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