Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sorry, but I just didn't care for Babel

I know Babel is on many critics' 10 Best Lists. I realize it's been nominated for prestigious awards for its direction and acting. And I got so bored at one point that I began playing Parachute on my iPod.

The stories don't intersect as seamlessly as they do in Crash or Grand Canyon. Therefore it was harder for me to comprehend what the point of all this unhappiness was. (Other than to avoid Morocco as a vacation destination.) Was I supposed to come away understanding how our cultural and language differences separate us and make our lives on this planet more difficult? Well, duh. Tower of Babel. Got it. Not moved.

I was disturbed by the way the Japanese teenager, Chieko, was portrayed. The reasons for her pain are laid on with a trowel. Angry, anguished and alienated by her mother's suicide, she's also a deaf-mute. And one of the last virgins in her social circle. She even has cavities in her molars! The actress who portrays her does so with great dignity, overcoming the bathos and the indignity of having her pubes exposed over and over again.

So now I've seen four of the Oscar-nominated Best Pictures (Babel, The Queen, The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine). Of these four, not only would I not give it a little gold nude dude, I wouldn't even recommend a friend rent it.

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