Watch Babylon

"Always make a scene."
  • R
  • 2022
  • 3 hr 8 min
  • 7.1  (166,230)
  • 60

Babylon is a 2022 epic period drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle, known for his works like Whiplash and La La Land. The movie serves as a decadent and tumultuous homage to the film industry’s most transformative era, the transition from silent films to talkies. Babylon features a star-studded cast with Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Jean Smart at the forefront, capturing the essence of Hollywood's golden age with a bold and unflinching look at the cost of ambition and the price of fame.

The film can be described as a grand tapestry that weaves together the lives of several characters, each representing different facets of an industry on the brink of a seismic shift. Set in the late 1920s to early 1930s, Babylon offers an intoxicating mix of excess, creativity, and debauchery, highlighting both the unparalleled glamour and the unspoken darkness of Hollywood's past.

Brad Pitt embodies the role of Jack Conrad, a silent film star who oozes charisma and seems to have it all. A perennial crowd-pleaser, Conrad's dashing persona and reputation within the industry make him a symbol of the silent film era's grandeur. Yet, as the winds of change begin to howl through the corridors of the studios, Conrad must confront the possibility that the world he knows and has mastered might soon become obsolete.

Margot Robbie takes on the role of Nellie LaRoy, a wildly ambitious and talented actress with a striking presence and a ferocious appetite for life. LaRoy is a force of nature; her rapid ascent to stardom is marked by electrifying performances and an insatiable desire for recognition. However, her audacious spirit and propensity for scandal pose a challenge to her career in a rapidly evolving industry that's becoming less forgiving.

Jean Smart's character provides a sage contrast to the youthful energy of her co-stars. As an established figure within the industry, she brings a nuanced interpretation of a woman who has seen the rise and fall of many stars and serves as a guiding light in the treacherous waters of Hollywood politics and social dynamics.

The characters’ lives intersect and collide in a madcap whirl of parties, premieres, and passionate affairs. Director Damien Chazelle masterfully crafts set-pieces that exemplify the era's hedonism and the human cost it demands. The film's sprawling narrative seeks not only to entertain but also to probe the dreams and nightmares begot by a world spellbound by the flickering images on the silver screen.

Chazelle’s direction is both a love letter and a critique of early Hollywood. Cinematographer Linus Sandgren's use of color and light paints the film in hues that are both vibrant and at times, melancholic. The music, a crucial element to Chazelle’s films, ranges from the bombastic jazz that punctuates the era’s highs to the more subdued accompaniment of its lows, underscoring the emotional journey of the characters.

Babylon’s production design is a spectacle in itself: lavish sets, exquisite costumes, and meticulous attention to historical detail allow audiences to step back in time. Viewers are transported to the palatial estates of movie moguls, the bustling backlots of studios, and the smoky interiors of jazz clubs that served as nocturnal playgrounds for the era’s icons.

The film confronts head-on the duality of the movie business, highlighting the glitz and the grit. It explores themes such as the relentless pursuit of success and the inevitability of obsolescence, the intoxication of fame, and the loneliness that often accompanies it. Babylon seeks to peel back the layers of show business, revealing a world that is as brutal as it is beautiful, as cutthroat as it is creative.

Babylon juxtaposes the personal stories of its leads with the broader narrative of the film industry's evolution. While the audience witnesses the highs and lows of these characters, they are also made aware of the constant churning of the Hollywood machine, indifferent to the fates of those who serve it. The film combines raucous humour, heartbreaking drama, and a touch of the surreal, which has become a signature of Chazelle's directorial style.

The performances within Babylon are designed to captivate, with Pitt and Robbie leading the charge through their dynamic portrayals. The actors embody the spirit of a bygone era with fervor, bringing to life characters that are at once larger than life and profoundly human.

Babylon is ambitious, sprawling, and occasionally chaotic, much like the era it emulates. It is a film that acknowledges the messy, dazzling, sometimes destructive nature of creative pursuit. It is an ode to the art of making movies and a sobering examination of the price that is often paid for that art. For those captivated by Hollywood’s golden age and the human stories at its heart, Babylon promises a cinematic experience that's as complex and compelling as the history it dramatizes.

Babylon is a 2022 drama with a runtime of 3 hours and 8 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 60.

Where to Watch Babylon
Babylon is available to watch, stream, download and buy, rent on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, EPIX, Google Play, Apple TV and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Babylon for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    3 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (166,230)
  • Metascore