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There's a reason the Coens make a lot of comedies. They're funny. Read one of their inimitable scripts or see "Burn After Reading," "Raising Arizona," or "The Big Lebowski," and you'll be howling with laughter. Even their "serious" movies are pretty funny. "Hail, Ceasar!" is an out-and-out comedy in the vein of such other period valentines as "The Hudsucker Proxy" or "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" So it's no surprise that hanging out with them in a relaxed way is a huge amount of fun, even if it doesn't amount to much in the way of a ground-breaking 15-minute interview. The pattern is the same. Joel sits down and tends to lead the answers, while Ethan paces around and jumps in with additions, curlicues and comments. And they often laugh at each other. They crack each other up. And me. Josh Brolin and George Clooney are front and center in this homage to 50s Hollywood. »
- Anne Thompson
Now that Hail, Caesar! is out in theaters, I figured it'd be a good time to look back at the past 30 years to see the directorial stylings of the Coen brothers. Evidently I wasn't the only one, as YouTube user somersetVII as uploaded a supercut of the 16 films leading up to Caesar. Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men and True Grit are just some of the films you'll... Read More »
- Sean Wist
Hail, Caesar!, 2016.
Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Max Baker, Heather Goldenhersh, Veronica Osorio, Clancy Brown, Wayne Knight, Fisher Stevens, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lambert, Natasha Bassett, Alex Karpovsky, John Bluthal, and Alison Pill.
A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.
“It’s either going to work or it isn’t” – George Clooney in some interview I once read online that I can’t find anymore discussing the production of Hail, Caesar!.
Producers, writers and directors Joel and Ethan Coen have a rich history of tackling different genres, in turn making for a broad range of films; you’ve got classic characters like The Dude in the freewheeling stoner comedy The Big Lebowski, symbolism permeating the experience of more »
- Robert Kojder
Once branded as essentially sophomoric, Joel and Ethan Coen have, over the past decade, established their artistic and philosophical seriousness, creating their own, distinctive border world straddling farce and tragedy. But they’re still kind of sophomoric. Nothing turns them on as much as fooling around with what they’ve called “movie fodder” — tired genre archetypes plunked down in radically different contexts and given a fresh, antic spin. Their amalgamations can be feats of genius, like their stoner-gumshoe farrago The Big Lebowski. Or they can pretty much lie there, like much of their new, star-packed comedy, Hail, Caesar!, which is nothing but movie fodder.Set in the 1950s, the film centers on a Hollywood studio called Capitol Pictures and its “fixer,” Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who functions almost like a head of production. Mannix herds wayward actresses and dipsomaniacal actors, plugs casting holes, and tries to keep the whole multi-ring »
- David Edelstein
“Hail, Caesar!” opens today, Joel and Ethan Coen’s hotly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s mournful and beautiful “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The Coens have cultivated a habit of following their more somber dramatic works with madcap comic exercises (see: “Raising Arizona” following “Blood Simple,” “The Big Lebowski” as the stoney palate cleanser after “Fargo,” “No Country for Old Men” leading into “Burn After Reading”), and although the jury is still out on whether or not “Hail, Caesar!” is a truly great Coen Brothers movie, it looks to be very much in keeping with that established formula. The Coens have always peppered their work with loving and self-aware references to old Hollywood productions, so to see them set their comic sights on the pomposity and decadence of this faded old world is a very exciting prospect indeed. Read More: The Films Of The Coen Brothers, Ranked Since “Hail, Caesar!” is the Coen’s seventeenth film, »
- Nicholas Laskin
A kidnapping is at the center of some of the Coen Brothers’ most indelible pictures. From Raising Arizona to Fargo to The Big Lebowski, someone goes missing and it’s through this unfortunate victim’s disappearance that characters are revealed. You can now add Hail, Caesar! to this list. However, while most of these kidnappings spawn a colorful cast of characters where hilarity and morality often sway from the light to the very dark, Hail, Caesar! doesn’t exactly use the taking of the half-wit Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) as the catalyst to propel most of the characters and the story. In fact, it becomes simply just another piece of this collage that the Coens have assembled that is equally both an ode to classic cinema and a biting satire showcasing a facade of what many believe to be what Hollywood is really like.
As studio fixer for Capitol Pictures »
- Michael Haffner
Last month, FX's upcoming X-Men TV series Legion added its first cast member, with Fargo star Rachel Keller signing on as the female lead, although her character wasn't identified. Today we have word from Variety that three more cast members have been added, Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza and Jean Smart. The project reunites Jean Smart with Rachel Keller and Fargo series creator Noah Hawley.
Dan Stevens is portraying the lead character David Haller. Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he's confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real. While Rachel Keller's exact character has not been revealed, she is said to be, "a scrappy, optimistic woman in her 20s." This report reveals »
When asked about their inclination for kidnapping comedies, Joel Coen recently told Variety, “I’m not sure why. They are all very different. We should probably give that a rest.” He and Ethan Coen are responsible for three of the finest kidnapping comedies ever made, and are perhaps adding a fourth to their résumé this weekend.
The addition of comedy into a crime story is hardly a new prospect, but the kidnapping comedy is a wonderfully specific little nook in this often darkly funny cinematic world. The Coens practically own this genre — if you can call it a genre –having covered and re-covered it in such uniquely different ways.
Their fourth kidnapping comedy (although I doubt they would refer to any of these films as such), Hail, Caesar!, follows a Hollywood studio fixer (Josh Brolin) whose work life begins to unravel after the kidnapping of one of his biggest stars, »
- Tony Hinds
Mixed reviews and a lacklustre box office wasn’t enough to quell the impact thst Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Big Lebowski had on popular culture, and since its humble debut in ’98, both the neo-noir and Jeff Bridges’ inimitable stoner The Dude have always remained a topic of conversation, even if those fleeting reports suggesting a sequel never made it part the starting line.
While promoting their upcoming period dramedy Hail, Caesar!, both Joel and Ethan Coen confirmed that the song very much remains the same regarding a potential follow-up to The Big Lebowski – a categorical no. That’s despite actress Tara Reid dropping hints to the contrary, though the Coen Brothers poured cold water over the resurgent rumors in an interview with Variety. “Tara Reid likes to announce that just like [George] Clooney likes to announce ‘Hail, Caesar!,” Joel Coen said. “In this case, I don’t think we’ll oblige. »
- Michael Briers
As we began talking about editorial content we could publish to celebrate the release of Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, we realized that none of us had the same top five lists, and that it seems unusual for that to be the case. The Coens have had such a rich and varied career that it is impossible to pin them down to one style or one theme or one type of storytelling. Some people love their comedies. Some people love it when they get dark. Some people love the underdogs, the least-liked of their films. But what's clear is that every film they've made has its fans, and even their worst films are beloved by someone. There are few artists like the Coen Brothers, and we were delighted to get lists from each of our special guest contributors this time. The diversity of the replies »
- HitFix Staff
When did The Big Lebowski 2 become a thing we talk about? Not only that, but a thing we ask the Coen Brothers about? 2009 is about as far back as I could go to find the filmmaking duo shooting down the idea of a sequel to The Big Lebowski. With their latest film opening in theaters this […]
- Jack Giroux
As I was driving home from talking to Joel and Ethan Coen about their latest film, I called my parents, laughing about the way the film folds Hollywood truth into Hollywood fiction. I mentioned that the Loretta Young story was an obvious inspiration for one thread of the film, and my parents seemed confused by the reference. They knew who Loretta Young was, no doubt, but they had never heard the defining story of her personal life because back when Young was still an active movie star, my parents were part of the audience who were protected from the truth to help keep those movie star images squeaky-clean. Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin, is officially listed as the Head of Physical Production for Capitol Studios, but what he really does is handle problems. He's a fixer. And there was an actual Eddie Mannix who worked for MGM. If you remember Hollywoodland, »
- Drew McWeeny
For years, there has been talk that The Big Lebowski might get a sequel. And it was a rumor spurred on by star Tara Reid, who said it was happening. The reality is, it will probably never happen. Not as long as original directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are still alive, anyway.
Fans have been hoping that the Coen Brothers would return to the wacky and wonderful world of The Big Lebowski. And the hope has always been that Jeff Bridges reprises his role as The Dude. There has also been talk that John Turturro might even get his own Jesus spinoff. Neither imagined scenario is ever likely to happen, though.
Variety recently caught up with the legendary directing duo to discuss their new Golden Age comedy caper Hail, Caesar!, which is in theaters this week. The pair shot down any notion that they'd ever even engage in attempting »
Just about every other year, more or less like clockwork, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen unleash another film on audiences across the world. Fans of their work will probably be delighted by Hail, Caesar!, which opens this weekend and really resembles some of the most overtly comedic work from the Coens. It’s got an A list cast and an Old Hollywood setting, which will make some folks assume this is a prestige picture. In reality though, this is more of a romp and an example of the filmmaking brothers just having a grand old time. It didn’t thrill me like it will thrill others, but I suspect this won’t be another big Oscar player of theirs, regardless. The film is a look at the day in the life of a Hollywood fixer. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) works at a big studio in the early 1950’s, making sure »
- Joey Magidson
With Hail, Caesar! arriving in theaters this week the Internet (at least the section that talks about movies) will be alight with bits and bobs concerning the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. We’ll avoid stoking any flames with something such as a “definitive” ranking — such is the nature of their oeuvre that numerous people will tell you Intolerable Cruelty is one of their best and Fargo deserves a spot near the bottom, or literally any number of possible combinations — and instead share a number of materials relating to the new film (of which we’re great admirers), the older titles, and the Coen brothers in general.
First up, the brothers have told Variety that they aren’t planning any sequel to The Big Lebowski, but could see a Barton Fink follow-up. “We’re going to do a Barton Fink sequel at some point,” Ethan says, noting they haven’t written it yet. »
- Nick Newman
Fans of “The Big Lebowski” have for years hoped that the Dude would find his way back to the big screen, but in a new interview with Variety, directors Joel and Ethan Coen definitively shot down the possibility of a sequel to the 1998 cult classic.
“Tara Reid likes to announce that just like [George] Clooney likes to announce ‘Hail, Caesar!,” Joel Coen said in this week’s Variety cover story, referencing how Clooney pushed them to write their latest script by telling the press that it was his next project. “In this case, I don’t think we’ll oblige.”
They also couldn’t envision a spin-off of John Turturro’s Jesus character, an idea that the actor had tried to float to reporters in the past.
“No,” Ethan said.
In fact, there’s only one story from their storied catalogue that could get a second installment. “We’re going to »
- Ramin Setoodeh
The Coens, who're out doing press rounds for this week's release of "Hail, Caesar!," have pretty definitively shot down the possibility of a sequel in a new interview with Variety. Ethan Coen says: "Tara Reid likes to announce that just like [George] Clooney likes to announce Hail, Caesar!. In this case, I don't think we'll oblige."
That was a reference to how George Clooney pushed them to write 'Caesar' by telling the press that it was his next project. Ethan Coen also offered a flat out "No!" when asked about the possibility of a spin-off of John Turturro's Jesus character.
So what, if any sequels, would the pair do based on their work? Ethan Coen says: "We're going to do a »
- Garth Franklin
The Coen brothers are just as quirky as the characters from their movies. Just ask Josh Brolin, who has collaborated three times with the writer-directors, including on the upcoming “Hail, Caesar!” He recalls meeting the brothers on his “No Country for Old Men” audition, and not knowing what to do with the awkward silences. “Joel was intimidating,” Brolin says. “He didn’t say anything.” Months later, he was having dinner with Ethan, and noticed his friend continually glancing at his lap. “I looked down,” Brolin says. “He had been reading a book under the table. I was like, ‘Come on!’ ”
Photographed in New York City by François Dischinger for Variety
In this age of Twitter and Instagram, the directors of such beloved classics as “The Big Lebowski,” “Blood Simple” and “Raising Arizona” are still fairly private — and awkward with press interviews. Although they grew up together making films on their Super 8 cameras in Minnesota, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
If there’s such a thing as poker-faced exuberance, you can feel it in every loving, teasing frame of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Hail, Caesar!,” an inside-showbiz lark that regards the 1950s studio system with the utmost skepticism even as it becomes an expression of movie love at its purest. Starring Josh Brolin as a hard-working industry “fixer” tasked with keeping big-budget productions on track and wayward stars in line, this gorgeously crafted romp through the backlots and Malibu enclaves of Hollywood’s Golden Age tosses off plenty of eccentric comedy and musical razzle-dazzle before taking on richer, more ruminative dimensions, ultimately landing on the funny-sad question of whether life is but a dream factory. Although it boasts enough marquee names and splashy, crowdpleasing angles to deliver good returns for Universal, this is as strange and singular an offering as anything the Coens have ever done, and as such its more thoughtful, »
- Justin Chang
This list is wrong. We.re just going to put that out there at the beginning. Only picking 10 great characters from Coen Brothers movies is like picking your favorite child, which is to say, you have one, but it changes often, mostly depending on your own mood. There were some tough choices made here, and honestly if we had made this list yesterday, or tomorrow, or under the influence of slightly more wine, it would have likely been very different. We have limited our list to one character per film so as to give everybody a clear shot and prevent the list from turning into Our 10 Favorite Characters From The Big Lebowski, because seriously, that nearly happened. Here are our 10 favorite characters of the moment from the history of the Coen Brothers on screen. 10. Amy Archer - The Hudsucker Proxy While most of the rest of the country is only »
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