At the Movies

Michael Wood

Eddie Mannix, in the Coen Brothers’ new movie, Hail, Caesar!, is not a devout or informed Catholic but he does like to confess. He’s not doing well with his plan of giving up smoking, as he promised his wife he would. The first words we hear in the film come from an unseen priest behind the screen in a church: ‘How long since your last confession?’ Mannix, his face half in shadow, says: ‘27 hours’. ‘It’s too often,’ the priest replies. ‘You’re not that bad.’

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