Ben Oliver

Banner image for Babylon


It’s written in the stars. I am a star.
10 March 2023

Follows multiple people (Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie) through the decadence and madness of early Hollywood, and their transition into the era of talking pictures.

Damien Chazelle is proving to be a master of cutting films to a rhythm and much like La La Land and Whiplash, Babylon feels so alive it almost has its own heartbeat. It probably takes some liberties with just how wild parties got in the mid-late 1920s, but it’s intoxicating and pulls you into the fun.

It does however become a dreadful bore in its final half hour. For a 3h10m film that’s better than you might expect given that it’s basically a debauched Singin’ in the Rain, but as things wrap up it becomes clear that Babylon is confident in its technical prowess yet shy in letting any of its story threads really find any depth. The final scenes in particular really let the whole thing down.

A fun bender that foolishly wants to be taken seriously.