Film: Babylon




This overwhelmingly ambitious film is an ode to cinema, set at the beginning of the film industry in Hollywood during its transition from silent film to sound (from 1926 to the late 1920s).

It is spectacularly long – at 188 minutes – and has an unfocused script which defies description. The massive ensemble cast includes many hundreds of extras in scenes of outrageous excess, depravity, debauchery, and decadence, full of sex, nudity, drugs and violence.



The opening sequence runs for about half an hour before the title of the film is shown. An elephant is being towed in a car by newcomer Manuel Torres ( well played by Jovan Adeps ) to a party at the home of Randolph Hearst where Nellie La Roy (Margot Robbie in a fearless performance) is an aspiring actress who is the focus of attention at an orgy.

Each character calls to mind various historical actors. Brad Pitt plays the part of Jack Conrad, a silent film actor (who could be modelled on Douglas Fairbanks) trying to transition to sound in film without a lot of success. Jean Smart plays Elinor St John (a character somewhat like columnist Hedda Hopper) Li Jun Li is Lady Fay Zhu, a cabaret singer who seems a bit like Marlene Dietrich. Robbie’s Nellie La Roy could be like Clara Bow.



Justin Hurwitz composed the excellent musical score in which Sidney Palmer plays a brilliant trumpet. Linus Sandgren was responsible for the expert cinematography.

Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) is considered one of the most exciting new directors of the last decade. The film started with budget of about 78 million dollars, but the final cost has been estimated at 110 million.



It received five nominations at the 80th Golden Globe Awards and won Best Original Score and Best Production Design.

It is passionate storytelling, with a star studded cast – and a dazzling experience that will leave a lasting impression. You’ll love it or hate it.

Showing at Event Cinema Innaloo and Luna Leederville.


Watch the trailer…