Damien Chazelle’s ‘Babylon’ With Brad Pitt & Margot Robbie Screens For Hollywood Crowd

One of the most anticipated presumed Oscar contenders, and one of the very few remaining to debut before year-end, dropped last night (11-14) with the first screening of Academy Award winning director Damien Chazelle’s Babylon.

As for possible acting nominations, Robbie has the showiest role and goes all in. Lead Actress is tough this year but she’s putting it all on display in an impressive turn so she will have supporters. Calva’s Manny gets a slow build but socks it home by the end. But perhaps the single best written and performed scene, for me at least, was between Jean Smart’s feared gossip columnist and Pitt’s fading movie star as she brutally gives him the truth about his career. Though she is in the film throughout, this is the one scene where Smart really gets her moment and the actress delivers it chillingly. Supporting Actress is tough this year, but there could be a place for her. Pitt, here ‘Once Upon Another Time In Hollywood, is really impressive, underplaying much of it, but giving a funny, wise, and ultimately poignant performance that deserves to put him back in contention. The studio will campaign him for Supporting, feeling the lead is actually Calva. Maguire, by the way, is truly creepy and certainly memorable in his scenes that come toward the end.

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