Damien Chazelle burst onto the scene with 2014’s Whiplash, a perfect film and one of the most memorable theater experiences of all time. Two incredible movies followed: La La Land and First Man. And for a minute there, it seemed like Chazelle could do no wrong. Then came Babylon.
Babylon is a fictionalized account of the switch from silent films to talkies that changed Hollywood forever. We follow three made-up characters (played by Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Diego Calva) based on real actors whose careers imploded when they couldn’t adapt to the new era of filmmaking. Babylon is Chazelle throwing caution to the wind and going for broke. He has the keys to the kingdom and he uses them to the fullest. Unfortunately, that fearlessness does not result in a great film. Instead, Babylon is a meandering fever dream overflowing with interesting pieces in search of a satisfying whole.
Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Yellowstone’s Dante connection, why we’re afraid of Nicole Kidman, Tim’s Italian vacation, Cocaine Bear, actors introducing their movies, Margot Robbie’s standout performance, Jon’s latest HBO obsession, how the switch to talkies transformed Hollywood, Brad Pitt and the death of the movie star, why Whiplash is a perfect film, streaming and the preservation of film history, Diego Calva’s breakthrough role, the necessity of limits in making art, the return of Flea, Chazelle’s embarrassing finale, creepy Tobey, Justin Hurwitz’s Wisconsin connection, adapting to change, and the peace of being here now.