Babylon is the most that any movie has ever movie’d. Damien Chazelle’s vibrant vision of 1920s Hollywood completely captures the cacophonous chaos of the era, Margot Robbie turns in a towering powerhouse performance that may be her best yet, and in the dynamite and dashing Diego Calva, a star is born.

Yes, it’s A Lot™️ - three hours of opulent sensory overload - but there’s a method to Chazelle’s madness that’s mystifying to witness. It’s all fun… until it’s not. The industry will chew you up and spit you out without a second thought. We’re forced to adapt or die - literally.

It’s not a perfect film - the third hour, which is the hardest for all epic “rise-and-fall” narratives to nail, does feel a bit more manic and messy compared to the controlled chaos in the first two - but its sheer ambition is so stupefying that I don’t even care. And when you stick the landing with such an utterly unhinged but instantly iconic final scene, it’s impossible to not leave the theater tripped out on a hypnotic cinematic high.

The magic of the movies indeed.

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