- Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde
- January 20th 2023
- Damien Chazelle
Babylon makes no attempt to hide its influences – Baz Luhrmann but especially Moulin Rouge and Gatsby, Tarantino but especially Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (which also stars Margot Robbie), Scorsese but especially The Wolf of Wall Street (which also, also stars Margot Robbie). Perhaps most surprising is the monumental influence of Paul Thomas Anderson, and especially Boogie Nights.
Aside from the occasional editing flourish or jazz interlude, this rarely feels like a Damien Chazelle picture at all.
Chazelle is doing his best Anderson impression and Babylon rips vast swathes of its structure, colour palette, and rhythmic dialogue from Boogie Nights.
Artistry destroyed by new technology, coke-induced mania, megalomaniacal rants, sporadic comedy, act closing suicides, beautiful people ravaged by fame, it’s all uncannily reminiscent of Anderson’s film.
The sequence with Toby McGuire is essentially one giant tribute to Alfred Molina’s showstopper in Boogie Nights, but it trades firecrackers for punctuating gobs of snot.
Nonetheless Babylon is an excellent Anderson impression. Generally, Babylon pastiches its inspiration enough to still feel original.
In terms of scope, it somehow manages to make the sprawling Boogie Nights look humble. Babylon is one of the most...