Thursday, September 4, 2008


Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
, 2006, Mexico

Best Drama Picture (GG)

Terrific story of a rifle, and the three families worldwide connected to its story. A shepherd in the middle east receives the powerful hunting rifle from a Japanese tourist, but his sons use it to fire on a tourist bus on a highway far below, wounding American Cate Blanchett, whose husband Brad Pitt must now try to save her life in the middle of a desert village. We are shown snippets of the life of the Japanese owner of the rifle, and his daughter's travails (trying to find love and acceptance in spite of a handicap), as well as the nanny taking care of Pitt and Blanchett's kids in the states while they vacation in North Africa.

Innaritu delicately balances all these stories, filming Babel on three continents with different film crews and casts. Both Adriana Barraza, as the nanny in America, and Rinko Kikuchi, in Japan as the deaf-mute daughter of the original gun’s owner, were nominated for Supporting Actress. You won't get a tidy Hollywood story here, just great filmmaking. Of 7 nominations, won one Oscar (music.) Interviewed on the red carpet at the Oscars, Innaritu jokingly said "I think we are perhaps nominated for too many awards"


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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