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Product Overview

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving six different families.


Studio Paramount
SKU 203931981
UPC 097363459842
UPC 14 00097363459842
Format DVD
Release Date 2/15/2011
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note BABEL is the crowning achievement in the trilogy from the unstoppable creative pairing of screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, which also includes AMORES PERROS (2000) and 21 GRAMS (2003). Building upon its predecessors' method of weaving together disparate storylines, BABEL reaches new heights of ambition with a tale that, in the absence of traditional narrative and protagonist, relies on numerous incredible performances to evoke an affecting relevance by framing contemporary issues in very human struggles and mistakes. Richard and Susan (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) are a wealthy couple from San Diego who are vacationing in Morocco in order to heal after the death of their young child; their other two children are at home with their Mexican maid, Amelia (Adriana Barraza). In a complex shift of ownership to which the audience is privy, a rifle finds its way into the hands of a local herdsman's young sons (Said Tarchani and Boubker Ait El Caid), who recklessly take a shot at a tour bus and catch Susan in the shoulder, causing her to nearly lose her life. The distraught Richard calls home to tell Amelia of the situation, who promptly departs for Mexico to attend her child's wedding, with Richard and Susan's children in tow. Disaster thus multiplies, with the situation in Morocco ascribed to terrorists in the media, while Amelia meets with the harsh immigration policies of the Bush administration. Meanwhile, in Tokyo, a widower (Koji Yakusho) tied to the rifle in question attempts to deal with his memories and his raucous, promiscuous, deaf daughter (Rinko Kikuchi).^Nearly every performance of the film is devastating, offering an intimate, emotional experience that would approach melodrama if it weren't rendered so realistically. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto's color palette masterfully captures the muted tones of the harsh natural landscapes of Morocco and the Mexican border, as well as the fluorescent lights of Tokyo that denote another, though equally barren, end of the spectrum. The misunderstandings born of cultural, language, and class barriers are on par with those that occur between family members, depicting a world that, while connected in the least expected of ways, is also faced with a deep-seated crisis that threatens to alienate humanity from itself.
Box Office 4 stars out of 5 -- "There's a dizzying array of faces, languages and imagery that sears into your soul." 07/01/2006 p.54
Rolling Stone "Inarritu and his superb cast use provocation and feeling to build something tentatively hopeful out of the rubble. This is a film to take to heart." 09/07/2006 p.122,4 stars out of 4 -- "In the year's richest, most complex and ultimately most heartbreaking film, Inarritu invites us to get past the babble of modern civilization and start listening to each other." 11/02/2006 p.88,Ranked #5 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "[A]s the film builds to a shattering climax, you'll be in an emotional grip that won't let go." 12/28/2006 p.118
New York Times "BABEL is certainly an experience....The sheer reckless ardor of Mr. Gonzalez Inarritu's filmmaking -- the voracious close-ups, the sweeping landscape shots, the swiveling, hurtling camera movements -- suggests a virtually limitless confidence in the power of the medium..." 10/27/2006 p.E1
Entertainment Weekly "BABEL looks beautiful, never more so than when BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto captures locals at ease among themselves." -- Grade: B- 11/03/2006 p.51
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "Each piece in the puzzle unfolds at a thrilling velocity, events spiralling out of control in a whirlwind of rash judgements, linguistic barriers and sheer bad luck." 02/01/2007 p.40
Uncut 5 stars out of 5 -- "The stories gradually gather urgency, heat and pain....In a soundbite century, it stares tragedy in the eye, scrapes away the mindless babble." 02/01/2007 p.98
Movieline's Hollywood Life "[H]ypnotic....We come away from this film consumed with a sense of sorrow over innocence betrayed and reminded of the double standard of justice in our polarized world." 11/01/2006 p.104
Ultimate DVD 5 stars out of 5 -- "It's an intense experience, defined by a simmering sense of dread..." 03/01/2007 p.114
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Brad Pitt
Cate Blanchett
Gael Garcia Bernal
Cast & Crew
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Director
Brad Pitt - Actor
Cate Blanchett - Actor
Douglas Crise - Editor
Gael Garcia Bernal - Actor
Guillermo Arriaga - Writer
Gustavo Santaolalla - Original Music By
Harriet Walter - Actor
Michael Pena - Actor
Mohamed Akhzam - Actor
Peter Wight - Actor
Rika Nakanishi - Art Director
Rodrigo Prieto - Cinematographer
Stephen Mirrione - Editor
Steve Golin, et. al. - Producer
Trevor Martin - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2006
Catalog ID 345984
UPC 00097363459842
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 143 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Winner (2007) Golden Globe, Babel, Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominee (2007) Golden Globe, Brad Pitt, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Best Director - Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Adriana Barraza, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Rinko Kikuchi, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner (2006) Cannes Film Festival, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Best Director,Cannes Film Festival, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury,Cannes Film Festival, Stephen Mirrione, Technical Grand Prize
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Babel is a masterwork from a director whose each effort re-enforces his international reputation. This movie is as mature and potent a piece of cinema as 21 Grams, and a worthy conclusion to Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's "trilogy." This is cathartic, thought-provoking, emotionally solid movie-making. It's the kind of cinema I hope to see whenever I sit down in a theater to view a drama. Whether viewed amidst a flood of pictures in the middle of a film festival or on its own in a local multiplex, Babel stands out from the crowd. Its complex (yet not mystifying) storytelling, forceful character development, and superb cinematography make this a candidate for one of 2006's best offerings.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
Review Challenging, consistently surprising, and etched in heartfelt sorrow, Inarritu's third and reportedly final collaboration with screenwriter/novelist Guillermo Arriaga is a spellbinding and superbly acted nonlinear, multi-layered narrative that gradually reveals the mysterious connection linking strangers in Morocco, Tokyo, Southern California, and Mexico...Brilliantly shot by cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (an Oscar nominee for Brokeback Mountain), Babel will likely bore and/or alienate viewers seeking a conventional narrative where everything falls neatly into place and situations are tidily resolved...The result is a richly nuanced, at times shattering film that brings Inarritu's "Death Trilogy" to a stunning close.
Reviewer Tim Knight
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Audio, English, Dolby Digital (5.1), French, No Longer Produced
Claudia Puig, USA Today ...the most ambitious movie of the year...a structurally complex and fascinating narrative.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post ...overflowing with memorable acting, unforgettable images, searing tragedy, unexpected humor...
Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle ...a masterful film, the kind you itch to see twice or more...
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune ...a powerhouse, demanding film...a first-rate cast and company.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone The year's richest, most emotionally explosive film. A towering achievement...

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