Sunday, September 23, 2007


Even knowing full well that Ebert has marked his return with heaps of praise upon numerous films the likes of which might just indicate his elation to be back at work rather than indicating their own actual greatness (time will tell, but many will disagree with his assessment of Shoot 'Em Up. Not me, though), I'm still thrilled that his trumpeting of the Meso-American Triad is in full-swing.

After this, we must still wait impatiently for his review of Children of Men.

Now, Iñárritu is my least favorite of the three. Del Toro and Cuarón don't constrain themselves with a "hyperlink" narrative structure, and yet, I think Iñárritu probably achieved as much as he could with the plot(s) of Babel, a film I loved much more than 21 Grams. There's a palpable, yet undeniably mystical connection between the different threads comprising the third of his trilogy, a giant strength this time around. Babel builds on the possibilities of this structure instead of relying on it. Few recent films have achieved this kind of metaphysics. It's tempting to believe that Iñárritu has found what he was searching for.

Ebert's review of Babel lends ink to almost everything I was unable to articulate about it. Even if you weren't blown away by the film, you should read the above review, solely because it's an example of criticism achieving power all on its own. It evokes a movie that either you still haven't seen, or possibly, you saw but still haven't seen. It's the best thing Ebert's written since his illness. Don't believe me? Wait until the last sentence.

No comments: