BABEL

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 23, 2013

Intertwining stories and lives across multiple countries and cultures, “Babel” covers its bases on almost every type of person and ethnicity that you could think of while weaving together a complex tale to which they all connect. Whether its two harmless young boys in Morocco who are given a rifle to watch over sheep, only to accidentally shoot a white tourist (Cate Blanchett) who is traveling with her husband (Brad Pitt), or a Hispanic nanny that takes the two kids that she watches over to Mexico for a wedding, only to lose them in the desert, or a deaf Japanese girl who seeks sexual solace following the suicide of her mother, all of these small little tales tell a much larger story of human connection and raw emotions. What director Alejandro González Iñárritu achieves so well is an exact human reaction, projecting human emotions to perfection without stooping to blatant stereotypes or expectations. Nothing is ever telegraphed in the film, with many of the conclusions of the film catching the viewer by a complete blindside. The key performances from this assemble come from lead Brad Pitt, who delivers the high caliber turn we know and love him for, as he struggles to hold himself together as his wife is dying by his side. Also, Adriana Barraza as the nanny gives a hugely refreshing turn, especially in her heightened emotional states while fleeing the border police and searching for the lost children. Even young Boubker Ait El Caid, a local from Morocco delivers a striking performance as the young boy with the gun, with much more on his mind than naked girls and relieving himself after he injures an innocent woman. Almost two and a half hours long, “Babel” grabs your attention with its intricate storytelling and heightened dramatic suspense, continuing the trend of films like “Crash” that bring together well-known ensemble casts and divvies them up into a wide-open world that brings to cinematic life the notion that it’s a small world.

RELEASE DATE
October 27, 2006

DIRECTOR
Alejandro González Iñárritu

WRITTEN BY
Guillermo Arriaga
Alejandro González Iñárritu (story)

STUDIO
Paramount Vantage

R
(for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use)

DRAMA
143 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Rodrigo Prieto

COMPOSER
Gustavo Santaolalla

EDITOR
Stephen Mirrione
Douglas Crise

CAST
Brad Pitt
Cate Blanchett
Gael García Bernal
Kōji Yakusho
Rinko Kikuchi
Elle Fanning
Clifton Collins Jr.
Michael Peña

PRODUCED BY
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Jon Kilik
Steve Golin

BUDGET
$20 million

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