Terry Hunter reviews BABYLON

Updated: Jan. 1, 2023 at 11:35 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Brad Pitt and Margo Robbie star in BABYLON, the new film from filmmaker Damien Chazelle, whose hit movie LA LA LAND won six Academy Awards in 2017. But BABYLON is unlikely to win even one Oscar unless except maybe for its elaborate production design. In this new film Chazelle depicts Hollywood in the late 1920’s as chaotic movie sets and wild drug and alcohol fueled parties moving at a frenzied pace. Much of the movie is a fever dream of one shocking scene of debauchery and depravity after another. The actors do well with their underwritten characters and a few dramatic moments are compelling. But after three hours and nine minutes of over-the-top spectacle, I felt exhausted and disappointed. What’s good about BABYLON in addition to the fine acting are the fascinating scenes showing how movies were filmed in the 1920’s. What’s really bad is an elephant defecating on a worker, Robbie’s character projectile vomiting on a socialite, and a muscle bound man eating live rats. BABYLON feels like a runaway train on a mad rush to extinction. It could have been so much better. (In theaters only)