I rented the Babel DVD on Saturday (from one of those kiosks at Safeway that Davis is always writing about), and we had Yvonne over tonight to make popcorn and help us watch it. (Thanks Yvonne!)

We switched on subtitles a bit of the way in, and I think I would have been frustrated to see this film in the theatre without subtitles.

I can see why it was nominated for an Oscar, and I’m always happy to see a movie depart from the traditional three-act structure. Brad Pitt almost seems like not Brad Pitt, but the other actors (especially the Moroccan children) deliver braver and more credible performances. Ultimately, I think this movie is less deep than it appears, and really despite the tension it builds has no teeth. Most of the characters in jeopardy don’t have enough screen time to really build up enough empathy.

So you’re left with a non-traditional structure that is interesting, excellent acting and cinematography, some compelling segments and some not so much. Despite the title, I don’t think the language barriers really come into play (with the exception of the Japanese girl’s story). I can already feel this movie leaking away, where, in contrast, I’m still thinking about Pan’s Labyrinth.

Worth the $1.50, but I’m going to go with thumbs down overall.

2 Responses to ““Babel””

  1. Scrappy Says:

    I’m so glad I got to watch it with you guys!

    I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. What I’ve been telling people about the movie is that I found it uncomfortable to watch, but not as uncomfortable as watching Crash (from 2006 Oscars).

    I also think that the movie subtitle should have been ‘Poor Judgement’. Many of the situations that the characters found themselves in were of their own doing and it frustrated me to see them making the decisions that led them there.

    Pan’s Labyrinth definitely has longer sticking power…

  2. Rob O. Says:

    Refreshing to hear someone else who is not gushing over this movie. The acting was nicely done, but that’s not enough to make it compelling. The connects between the simultaneous storylines was weak or trivial for the most part. To me, there wasn’t a strong enough thematic message and while it may have wanted to be “Crash” (which was an excellent, even if a little contrived, movie) it just isn’t.

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