Babylon: Early reactions to Damien Chazelle’s decadent look at Old Hollywood are extremely mixed

Babylon, Babylon early reactions, Damien Chazelle

One of my most anticipated films of the year, Babylon, is getting shredded across social media. Damien Chazelle‘s latest feature doesn’t hit theaters until December 23, but early reactions to the film are pouring in. They’re mixed more vigorously than a Bourbon Old Fashioned prepared by Fritz at Reese’s 1890 in Long Island, New York, and we’re here to collect some of the most extreme comments.

According to the official synopsis for Babylon, the film is “an original epic set in 1920s Los Angeles led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Diego Calva, with an ensemble cast including Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, and Jean Smart. A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, Babylon traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.”

Babylon stars Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Tobey Maguire, and more, delighting in extreme debauchery during Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies in the 1920s. The early reactions to Babylon range from ultra-positive to disturbingly negative, with some calling the movie a “hot mess” of drug-addled mayhem. Several reviewers note Robbie and Calva’s outstanding performances, while others say Babylon is tonally erratic.

While some viewers don’t appreciate Chazelle’s approach to depicting a hopped-up Hollywood, others appear to embrace the chaos. Many reviewers also praise Babylon‘s elaborate sets and costume design. Still, strong adverse reactions to the movie could be linked to Brad Pitt, who’s under fire for ongoing allegations of child abuse by Angelina Jolie.

General audiences will need to wait until December 23 to form an opinion, which is the best way to determine if Babylon appeals to you. I’m excited to see Babylon, regardless of adverse reactions to the film, though I’ll wait until it’s on Blu-ray to make my way to the party.

What do you think of the early reactions to Babylon? Are these reviews genuine, or have some reviewers sniffed one too many lines before bringing their gut reactions to social media? A film that feels like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in Old Hollywood sounds like a rip-roaring good time, even if the presentation can appear manic and off its rocker at the best of times. Bring it on, I say.

Source: Twitter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.