Babylon

Director Damien Chazelle’s latest film “Babylon” is an epic tale of the transition from silent films to talkies. It starts out at a party that it is too wild to describe. It goes on and on, introducing the main characters. Most of them are based on real Hollywood actors. Brad Pitt plays a much married matinee idol who has trouble transitioning to sound. Margot Robbie is a young lady who wants to become a star. She does so by playing a bad girl on and off the screen. Jovan Adepo is a black trumpet player who gets into movies but has to fight prejudice. Tying them all together is a Mexican, played by newcomer Diego Calla, who only wants to be a part of the movies. The stories are very interesting, especially Robbie’s. Some of them are funny, while others are tragic. I especially enjoyed the parts where they showed how silent movies were made. The problem I had with this film is it is too long. Chazelle has joined the club of what I refer to as auteurs. He writes, produces and directs, but does not edit. Had someone else cut out or cut down some of the scenes, it would have been a better film. Margot Robbie is a whirlwind as Nellie LaRoy, a Clara Bow type actress who is ruins her life and career. She gives a great performance. Diego Calla, in his first American film, is very good as Manny who ends up being part of each story. He is quite good. The movie its up for a number of awards. Worth seeing, but a bit overdone.

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