Recklessly hopping from plot point to plot point, “Hail, Caesar! A singing-acting cowboy hick (Alden Ehrenreich) is miscast in a neo-Lubitsch sex-com — a problem, since he don’t speak English good.
The diva star of a pseudo-Busby Berkeley musical (Scarlet Johansson) can’t separate her life from her films; off the set, she’s always playing characters, whether Wilder femme fatale or Bronx gun moll.
”), hot-potato dialogue (any scene with Quickdraw Clooney) and Monty Python hijinx, this unstable movie (amazingly) never falls apart. Because the Coens’ wire-tight, screwball rhythms keep the product crisp and rollicking.
It’s a killer homage to Old Hollywood pictures — mainly because it looks, moves and feels like one.
The instructor flaunted his defiance, slightly camouflaged in Gothic calligraphy.
Among the students and teachers, even among the more straight-laced Mormons, few thought he’d done anything particularly wrong (except getting caught). Some of the female students aggressively hunted the better-looking paramilitary instructors, who welcomed the attention. military post-Vietnam, where senior officers are supposed to be moral role models, the CIA—that is, the Clandestine Service, the engine room of espionage and covert action that has always defined the agency’s ethos—has been much more relaxed about these things.
The agency maintained an important rule requiring employees to report continuing, meaningful romantic contact.
But there was a fair amount of flexibility built in—since operatives, not a sentimental lot, could keep a bed partner for some time and truthfully say that their lovers really didn’t mean all that much to them. Case officers were prohibited from sleeping with their foreign agents, a coupling that could derail a career.Unlike soldiers, who have each other’s backs in battle, case officers build on both trust and deceit.And they work in a promotion system that often rewards intellectually dishonest operatives for making a mediocre new recruit seem like solid gold.The Coens use this elaborate storyline to venture into the world of Hollywood, exposing it for its slicked-up “purty”-ness.At the same time, they love the gaudy fantasia of moving pictures, so they indulge themselves by making a mashup of every genre imaginable.Admiral Stansfield Turner, President Jimmy Carter’s CIA director, didn’t have many fans for a variety of reasons—not least because he wanted operatives, and the ops they ran, to be more wholesome. When I was in the agency, my colleagues were amused, occasionally disappointed, but never shocked when married officers were discovered cavorting with their secretaries or other co-workers at the office, in parking lots, hotels, and safe-houses—which, of course, are not supposed to be used for trysts.