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Friday, February 09, 2007


I went to see Babel today. Though I hadn't read much about it, I was prepared to like it, as Z had recommended it, and I'd seen Cate Blanchett talk about it. (Great Blanchett profile in this week's New Yorker, by the way.) I liked it very much. Actually, I loved it.

It would be easy to dismiss it as a cliched statement of the all-too-obvious. Yes, we live in a dangerous world where there are communication problems on all levels. Misunderstandings can escalate and lead to unimaginable catastrophe. But it's a movie - a visual medium - so it shows us how this can happen. It takes us to places where we've never been: a Moroccan village, a raucous Mexican wedding, a girls basketball game in a Tokyo school for the deaf. And the acting is faultless - with an almost unmanageably large cast.

Curiously, the most profound miscommunication seemed to be at the family level - most specifically, between parents and children. Surely there's a message there.

If I had one quibble it would be (SPOILER FOLLOWS)

that you really need to stretch to think that the Jones (Pitt/Blanchett) family could be visited by so much tragedy in such a short time: lose an infant to SIDS, then Mom gets shot on a tour bus, then within days, the family children are lost in the burning California desert. This is starting to look more like the story of Job - not Babel.


Blogger SuperMom said...

I saw the Blanchett profile and earmarked this and Notes on a Scandal as two to add to my growing list of "must sees."

Hopefully they'll make it to DVD soon!

1:17 PM  

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