Babel (2006) Film Review

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Sadtacular, sadtacular. Oh, so so so sadtacular. Babel is by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who also made Amores Perros and 21 Grams, and I could not bring myself to watch it again. I wanted to; unless I know a film extremely well from multiple viewings, I don’t like to write about them. But I started to watch this and just couldn’t go through it again. Just seeing the two young boys on the hill with the rifle. Oh, no.

Babel tells several stories that overlap during the film. There is the story of the family living in the hills of Morocco who herd sheep and buy a gun to kill the jackals. Then, there is Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) and his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) who are travelling through Morocco when disaster strikes. Back in the US, their children are being looked after by Amelia (Adriana Barraza), their undocumented nanny from Mexico. She needs to get home to a family wedding, but the children’s aunt does not arrive to take care of the children, so she takes them with her. Finally, there is the Japanese story, which follows deaf teenager Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) who is struggling to fit in and develops a crush on a police office she believes is investigating her mother’s suicide.

Every story is heart-wrenching. Some parts of the stories go exactly the way you’d expect, but then suddenly, they will veer off into sadtacular land. The film is very good. But totally heartbreaking, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch it again.

Babel won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Adriana Barraza), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Rinko Kikuchi) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for many other awards.