Hail, Caesar! (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen) - 2016

Josh Brolin is the 1950s studio boss at Capitol Pictures who is trying to quit smoking while considering a job change that would take him away from difficult personalities in the film business.  Brolin is juggling crews on multiple sets making movies starring singing cowboys (Alden Ehrenreich), dancing sailors (Channing Tatum), synchronized swimmers (Channing Tatum), upper-class socialites (Ralph Fiennes) and soldiers/peasants in a swords-and-sandals epic (George Clooney).  The all-star cast blends flawlessly into the Coen script that takes the audience back to the golden age of giant Hollywood film studios.  The film editing is perfect as scenes shift from one set to the other.  Tilda Swinton has the prime supporting role as the costumed, dueling gossip sisters - Thora & Thessaly Thacker.  The Coen brothers manage to walk the fine line between parody and period piece.  Theatre-goers, who are used to movies filled with high-tech special effects and computer graphics, should be pleased with this one that shows the way it used to be.  [JAM 2/7/2016]