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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Babel


Hmmm! What do I think about this movie? This is a good movie with a great ensemble cast that tells a story about how one little meaningless event -give a gun as a present- can develop into international newsworthy and senseless situation.

Somehow, this movie became an IF story. What would have happen IF the gun were not given away? What would have happen IF the kids did not play with the gun? What would have happen IF the couple had not traveled? What would have happen IF the maid found another babysitter for the children? What would have happen IF they stayed overnight instead of traveling back home? It was because the way the story developed that I was motivated to think about so many IFs and that just ruined the story for me.

It is Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu third movie with the same intertwining story structure that worked especially well in Amores Perros and was finely crafted in 21 Grams. Unfortunately it does not work in Babel where the movie and story loses some much-needed focus.

Out of the three main story lines within Babel, the Japanese moment is the most interesting and could have been a great story to tell by itself. Koji Yakusho, which you may remember from Memories of a Geisha, has magnificent screen presence and Rinko Kikuchi is outstanding as his daughter. Believe me, I will follow this actress career and look forward to watch the still in pre-production film The Brothers Bloom.

If you like Cate Blanchett performances then do not miss this movie as even if she has very little screen time, she will amaze you with her subtle and alluring ways.

Lately I been watching some Chinese and Japanese movies that use the three intertwining stories structure; some are good others are not. But, it is refreshing to lose some ignorance and learn that this structure it was well developed in Asian cinema long before Gonzales started using it. Then, Amores Perros was such a good story and movie, that my innocence and ignorance attributed this structure to him. Nevertheless, I still believe that Amores Perros is Gonzalez best movie up-to-date.

This film is nominated for 7 Oscars and has already 17 wins and 59 nominations in different awards around the world. Also has been awarded as the most overrated movie by the AMG awards (OK, these awards are a private affair by the allmovie guys –but, I do agree with them!!

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