‘Babylon’ Review

About two-thirds of the way through Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, gossip queen Elinor St. John (Jean Smart) is trying to explain to fading silent star Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt) why his career is, for all intents and purposes, over.

“It’s not your voice. It’s not your style. It’s not a conspiracy or a piece of press. There’s nothing you could have done differently and there’s nothing you can do. Your time is up. There is no why. Stop fighting it,” she says.* But then she goes on to explain why it doesn’t matter that much. Echoing no one so much as James Earl Jones’s Terence Mann in Field of Dreams as he thunders home his argument about baseball’s place in America, Elinor waxes rhapsodic about Hollywood as a vision, an ideal, an ever-renewing place of dreams that chews up talent...

Proper Review
Jan 6th 2023
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