Everybody Loves Babies...
"Observant and funny and thoughtful too, powered exclusively by verite footage without a word of narration, Babies is William Blake's Infant Joy brought to rich cinematic life. Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
|A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from mongolia to namibia to san francisco to tokyo.|
"Babies will capture your eye -- and, probably, your fancy. Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
Filmmaker Thomas Balmes offers an adorable glimpse at the first phase of life in this film following four newborn babies through their first year of life. Ponijao, Bayar, Mari, and Hattie were born in Namibia, Mongolia, Japan, and California, respectively. By capturing their earliest stage of development on camera, Balmes reveals just how much we all have in common, despite being born to different parents and raised in different cultures.
Cast & Crew
?[T]he babies in BABIES offer moments to cherish...? -- Grade: B
3 stars out of 4 -- "BABIES is the perfect film for anyone who has never had the opportunity to interact with humans at an early age."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 5 -- "[J]oyous and buoyant....A very huggable movie experience..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This observant documentary offers an up-close-and-personal glimpse of four babies from vastly different cultures in their first year of life....The photography is stunning..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his beautiful film with its postcard scenery deserves to be seen with young eyes. Everyone tells you how to raise a kid -- this doc shows you how to feel like one."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[I]t invites viewers simply to watch and revel in things doing their thing -- or in this case, babies being babies....Mesmerizing..."
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
Babies is the perfect film for anyone who has never had the opportunity to interact with humans at an early age. You may never have had one, held one or baby-sat one, yet remained curious about the infants you see in a park, on the beach, or in baby carriers at the mall. Now a French documentarian has traveled to Africa, Asia and America to bring back charming footage of babies in their natural habitats...If, however, you've raised children and/or grandchildren, or had little brothers and sisters, the movie may resemble 79 minutes of unpaid baby-sitting. When Baby Mari starts screaming, you're wishing you could turn on the TV and use something bright and noisy as a distraction. But no, you're at a movie. However, maybe Babies may be fascinating viewing for babies, just as many dogs and cats have their favorite programs. At last, here's programming for the Mommy & Me screenings...The babies are cute. Well, all babies are cute. That's just as well, because how could filmmakers audition a baby and wait six months to give it a callback? It's not a baby anymore. The director, Thomas Balmes, has found exemplary babies in Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo and San Francisco, and observes them lovingly as they nurse, play, doze, poke kittens and happily hit one another. The movie is really about the babies, not their parents, and in most cases, we only see those parts of the parents ranking highest on the infant's interest scale: nipples, hands, arms, and male and female chests. Not all of the nipples are real, but the babies don't discriminate as long as they work...Did I like the movie? Aw, yeah, I did. How could I not? Did I feel I needed to see it? Not really. I appreciated the fact that there was no narrator to explain what I was seeing; no voiceovers like "little Bayarjargal learns early to appreciate the mystery of yogurt." No parents asking, "Are you a good little boy?" and answering, "Yes, he's good little boy." Just babies. Wonderful...I was once in that state myself. I remember being flat on my stomach with my eyes an inch away from ants all crawling in a line on the front sidewalk. I've never been so entertained in my life.
- Roger Ebert