The Coen brothers' latest is a paean to the 1950s studio system

By Alynda Wheat
Updated February 04, 2016 11:45 PM
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Alison cohen Rosa

Ah, old Hollywood cinema: the glamour, the stars, the back-lot romances – all fake, of course. But that s what made it grand.

The Coen brothers’ latest is a paean to the 1950s studio system, with Josh Brolin running herd as Eddie Mannix, the fixer on the lot. It s a rough day for Eddie, what with aquatic actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) getting knocked up, a gossip columnist (Tilda Swinton) nosing around and biblical-epic star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) going missing.

It’s all nuts, and the actors couldn’t be having more fun, including Ralph Fiennes as an exacting auteur, Channing Tatum riffing on Gene Kelly, and Alden Ehrenreich giving it his aw-shucks all as singing cowboy Hobie Doyle. Sadly, Clooney’s plot line is the least punchy, but Caesar offers plenty of bighearted silliness to compensate.