Movie Review: BABYLON

Movie Review: BABYLON


Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Li Jun Li, Jovan Adepo, Flea, Tobey Maguire, Samara Weaving

If Damien Chazelle’s film La La Land was a romantic love letter to Hollywood, then Babylon is a darker, jaded look at the seedy side of the industry. The Oscar winner’s fourth film is a sprawling epic telling multiple narratives at a time in Hollywood that saw big changes as it said goodbye to silent films and welcomed in the talkies. Chazelle opens the film with a massive party, one with drugs, alcohol, an elephant, and a big orgy. In attendance is anyone who’s anyone and everyone who wants to be someone. Brad Pitt stars as Jack Conrad, a popular silent film star who goes from one relationship to the next. Margot Robbie pulls up to the house as Nellie LaRoy. She’s an aspiring actress who tells Diego Calva’s character, Manny, that she’s already a star despite not having an agent or contract. This party leads to pure chaos but finds Manny taking Jack to set the next day as Nellie arrives hoping to be noticed. Chazelle’s three-hour film spans decades testing his characters every step of the way as silent film stars didn’t always transition to the talkies easily.

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