“A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.” – IMDB
Where have all the editors gone? That is the question I continue to ask myself in almost every three hour PLUS movie I’ve watched recently (with RRR being a notable exception).
As a movie-lover, I can appreciate what the Babylon filmmakers were going for in the 189 minute odyssey detailing the height (aka debauchery) and subsequent downfall of the silent movie era. However, by the end of the film I realized that I had basically watched a raunchy Singing in the Rain meets Wolf of Wall Street. The film’s central narrative, that Hollywood will chew you up and spit you out, has been told in better and in more concise ways.
I also appreciate the complexity that the filmmakers attempted to bring to this well-worn storyline, but its messages just ended up coming off a bit muddled: Art is bullshit. Art is everything. Excess is sexy. Excess is ugly. Nothing changes. Everything changes.
Ultimately, this is a perfectly fine film. But if you are going to take up three hours of my time, then I need something better than fine. As it is, I am still a bit sore, both emotionally and physically, since I’m still regaining feeling in my rear after sitting on it for 189 minutes!
Rating: 6 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: Hail Caesar, La La Land, Singing in the Rain (for reference)
Streaming: In Theaters only
With: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Olivia Wilde
Directed By: Damien Chazelle