‘Babylon’ trailer: Robbie, Pitt revel in old Hollywood

‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle just took audiences back to Los Angeles on Tuesday — but way back to the 1920s.

Following its Toronto International Film Festival debut, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for the highly anticipated Babylon, starring Brad Pitt, his Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood co-star Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde, Samara Weaving, Tobey Maguire, Jean Smart, Spike Jonze, Chloe Fineman and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And it seems the studio has little reverence for its own logo, as the trailer begins with Robbie essentially snorting it as cocaine. The sprawling ensemble drama transports audiences back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, a pivotal moment when silent films gave way to talkies (à la The Artist) and the entertainment industry reveled in the clutches of hedonism, as first glance photos of the production in the last month.

Pitt and Robbie, who replaced “La La Land” star Emma Stone in 2020, play Hollywood stars at very different stages in their careers. Robbie is Nellie LaRoy, a rising starlet inspired by the it girls of the era, and Pitt plays movie star Jack Conrad, inspired by actors John Gilbert, Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks, who says that when he first came to LA pulled, “everything has signed doors saying no actors or dogs allowed. And he changed that.

“It’s set in the stars. I’m a star,” says Robbie’s character after snorting cocaine. “If I had money, I would only spend it on things I enjoy. No boring things like taxes. Just waiting for everyone to celebrate forever.”

The uncensored NSFW trailer kicks off with crazy humor and plenty of drugs, violence and nudity. It features Pitt and Robbie attending circus-style parties punctuated by flying javelins, car chases in vintage Studebaker cars, lavish war sets, and with an enraged Robbie shouting the “Mr. Men” that she will fight a rattlesnake.

Most if not all of the characters are fictional or composite, with Maguire (also executive producer) playing a Charlie Chaplin guy and Max Minghella playing real-life producer Irving Thalberg, dubbed “The Boy Wonder.”

“The basic idea was just to make a big, epic, character-rich film set in those early days of Los Angeles and Hollywood…when everything was new and wild,” Chazelle said. “I wanted to capture how big and bold and bold and uncompromising this world was.”

At TIFF the director added that he wanted to capture humanity at its “most glamorous and depraved” form.

Babylon is the first film Chazelle has directed since 2018’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, and the first he has written and directed since 2016’s colorful musical La La Land, for which he won the Oscar for Directing. Prior to that, he wrote and directed Whiplash in 2014. The film was among a series of films to benefit from a California tax credit program for filming in and around Los Angeles in 2019.

The film hits theaters in a limited edition on Christmas Day and goes into wide release on January 6th. He appears strategically amidst a number of awards season’s prestige titles, including Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans, Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Bardo, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, as well as the Sequels “Avatar” and “Black Panther”.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-09-13/babylon-trailer-damien-chazelle ‘Babylon’ trailer: Robbie, Pitt revel in old Hollywood

Sarah Ridley

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