Damien Chazelle is pushing away Babylon’s poor reception, saying more movies should “ruffle some feathers” like it did.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Damien Chazelle’s Babylon would be a major contender at the Academy Awards. After all, with marquee names like Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and it being set during one of the most iconic eras in Hollywood history, it seemed like just the sort of film that would play with Academy voters. And then people saw it–or rather, didn’t see it.
But the overall poor reception of Babylon at both the box office and by critics isn’t getting writer/director Damien Chazelle down too much. According to him, the movie can at least trigger some discussion and inspire other films to make their mark in a different way. “It’s good to have something that stimulates conversation and debate and a lot of fierce opinions on either side. We all knew the movie was gonna ruffle some feathers and get some people mad, and I think that’s good. More movies should do that.”
That’s definitely a positive outlook for a movie that is one of the biggest letdowns of 2022, failing to connect overall–at least in the United States, as the French seem to love it! Still, Damien Chazelle won’t be holding any grudges over the disappointing Babylon reception. “I don’t really pay that much attention to that…You know, it’s an interesting thing of, where you make something, and then I do believe that it sort of becomes–once the filmmaker finishes the movie–the audience’s, and that includes the critics, includes everyone. And everyone’s gonna have a different take on the film. And I think they’re all legitimate.”
Regardless of its dismal box office performance–it has pulled in $14.8 million domestically on about an $80 million budget and currently has a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Our own Chris Bumbray gave it a 6/10, saying it may be ripe for developing a cult following.)
As such, Damien Chazelle’s Babylon will probably be out of Oscar contention for the most part, save some recognition in the technical categories–the same happened with First Man. However, it’s possible that Babylon lead Diego Calva could snag the Best Actor nod that Ryan Gosling couldn’t. This is still a far cry from La La Land’s record-tying 14 nominations, in addition to Damien Chazelle becoming the youngest Best Director winner ever. La La Land, of course, did not win Best Picture…
What do you think of Damien Chazelle’s comments on the Babylon response? Does he make a point, or is he deflecting? Let us know below!