Warren Beatty's engrossing drama about Howard Hughes in Hollywood shares less in common with Martin Scorsese's diligent Hughes biopic The Aviator than with the Coen brothers' tinseltown fantasy Hail, Caesar!, in which history is chewed, stretched, and rechewed like bubble gum. It's 1964, and the billionaire's long-suffering assistant (Alden Ehrenreich) is trying to roust the boss out of bed so he can participate in a teleconference with journalists and debunk a fabricated autobiography of him (really this occurred in 1972); flashbacks set five years earlier (but incorporating biographical details from several years before that) chronicle a fictional love triangle involving Hughes (Beatty), a virginal but calculating young beauty he's grooming for stardom (Lily Collins), and the assistant, then his chauffeur. Beatty's vision of showbiz corruption is hardly novel, but as a writer and actor, he's created the most wistful and complex portrait of Hughes I've ever seen.
Director: Warren Beatty
Producer: Warren Beatty, Arnon Milchan, Brett Ratner, James Packer, Steve Bing and Terry Semel
Cast: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Haley Bennett, Candice Bergen, Dabney Coleman, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Taissa Farmiga and Patrick Fischler