Films from the Coen brothers, as a general rule, get better trailers than other movies. The hooky spot for their 2009 feature A Serious Man made aggressive music from a ticking clock, a head smashing into a chalkboard, and a rabbi’s secretary clearing the cobwebs from her throat. The Big Lebowski trailer smartly front-loaded the most inviting cuts from the film’s deep soundtrack, while the No Country For Old Men promo encapsulated the film’s sense of free-floating menace in a neat package. But today brings the newest trailer for the Coen brothers’ upcoming Hail, Caesar!, and it looks like it might be the most fascinating and endlessly rewatchable yet.
The best trailers function as little works of entertainment unto themselves, and the one embedded above makes a fine argument for the trailer as a legitimate art form. Burrowing into a single, deliriously funny scene in which fatuous British director Ralph Fiennes spoon-feeds Alden Ehrenreich a tongue-twisting line, the trailer isolates that single soundbite and repeats it ad nauseam. Until it ceases to even resemble language, spiraling into meaningless, senseless noise. There’s a nifty parallel to be drawn between the chaotic confusion of the trailer, where indelible images fly by in the cacophony of wouldthatitweresosimple, and the larger twisty scheme of the Coen-typical kidnapping plot that endangers leading man George Clooney. Like a dizzying riff on the “I caaaaan’t stan ‘im!” scene from Singin’ In The Rain, showbiz artifice falls to pieces in hilarious fashion when a yokel movie star can’t wrap his mouth around proper English fripperies.
Hail, Caesar! will premiere on Friday, Feb. 5, a day that simply can’t come soon enough. Now let’s get whoever edited this trailer a raise.