AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: The Snubs Heard Round the BARBIE Dreamhouse Bubble – Thelma Adams Reports

I empathize with the director’s need to come from her heart. I honor the genuine disappointment that Gerwig and her star Robbie might have experienced after riding their wave of hype and success. Still, let’s insert a little context here. Barbie, despite its eight Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Actress (America Ferrara), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and two Best Songs, is not your typical Oscar-winner.

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BARBIE – Review by Jennifer Green

Less than a week into its release, Barbie was already well on its way to becoming a social phenomenon. That seems fitting for the source material. Director Greta Gerwig is extremely faithful to Barbie’s style, history and various incarnations, and her team has done a dazzling job of creating a life-size world of Dreamhouses, pink convertibles and candy-colored props. Also like its namesake doll, the movie’s global appeal is reinforced by the simplicity of its messages. There’s nothing subtle about Barbie. We like playing with her without having to think too hard.

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BARBIE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Gerwig has done the impossible by creating a movie that addresses all the reasons Barbie (who was introduced to the world in 1959 and has encouraged young girls to become everything from doctors to pilots to CEOs) is still selling globally at the rate of more than 100 per minute – yes, read that again – while, at the same time, is still being blasted for modeling a female physical ideal that can only be achieved in plastic. When the marketing blitz for Barbie first began, it was easy for everyone to roll their eyes and assume the movie would be no more than a feature-length commercial for Mattel. But then, we discovered that Gerwig was directing it and Margot Robbie was starring as Barbie and, suddenly, the potential for a subversive, feminist twist was apparent and intriguing and exciting and our collective conscience began thinking pink.

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BARBIE – Review by Susan Granger

Much-hyped, candy-colored Barbie is not what I expected. I was anticipating a silly, bubble-gum pink caricature of Mattel’s iconic plastic doll. Instead, writer/director Greta Gerwig and producer/actress Margot Robbie have created a satirical comedy-adventure that cleverly exposes our sexist societal shortcomings. Back in 2018, ambitious Israeli businessman Ynon Kreiz decided to expand the Mattel franchise into movies, TV shows, stage productions and theme parks, beginning with this surreal, live-action fantasy.

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BARBENHEIMER Rules: Conflating BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER – Pam Grady Comments

There are places where the two films intersect, making Barbenheimer less ridiculous than the memes suggest: Both Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and Barbie (Margot Robbie) are midcentury icons, Oppenheimer as the father of the atomic bomb that forever changed the way humans live in the world, and Barbie as the doll that broke the mold, freeing little girls from the tyranny of baby dolls and forever changing the way children play with dolls.

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BARBIE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Like the doll’s copious wardrobe and accessories, the movie Barbie leaves lots to unpack—and probably more than people might expect. This funny, eye-catching film sports pitch-perfect performances from Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, paying tribute to the iconic toy while skewering the patriarchy and feminist window-dressing. It’s also a coming-of-age story about Barbie herself.

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ASTEROID CITY – Review by Sarah Vincent

Shot in black and white on a black box theater set in a 1957 television studio, Wes Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman plays actor Jones Hall, who seduces playwright Conrad Earp (Edward Norton) after landing the role of Augie Steenbeck in Earp’s latest play, the titular Asteroid City. This intimate backstory is one of several behind-the-scenes vignettes about the production of Earp’s final work, which is shot in color – a dreamy, Southwest-evoking palette of teal, orange and tan. A recent widower, single dad and former war photographer, Augie is one of many offbeat parents taking their gifted children to the 1955 Junior Stargazer convention. A brief extraterrestrial visit interrupts the proceedings, triggering a government-imposed quarantine with no travel and no communication with the outside world and sparking a widespread crisis about the meaning of life.

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BABYLON – Review by Susan Granger

Babylon is a grotesquely graphic, three-hour mess of a movie about early Tinseltown!

Focusing on an era of decadent, depravity that’s the antithesis of his musical fantasy La La Land (2016), writer/director Damien Chazelle’s saga begins in the Roaring 1920s as Manny Torres (Diego Calva), an ambitious Mexican production assistant, navigates the tortuous hills of Hollywood to deliver a ‘live’ elephant to an extravagant, coke-fueled Bacchanalia, a messy job that doesn’t end as expected.

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BABYLON – Review by Pam Grady

You have to hand it to Damian Chazelle, who should win all the awards for forewarning the audience of the three-hour-long punishment-to-come when one of his opening images is of an elephant in closeup. From the rear. Defecating straight into the camera lens. Well, shit…This is not a love letter to cinema, more like hate mail, odd coming from a director who has been treated well and lauded by his industry. And good grief, don’t summon the ghost of Singin’ in the Rain if it only serves to remind people that, yes, there are far better movies about moviemaking out there than Babylon.

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BABYLON – Review by Diane Carson

Babylon traffics in riotous, bawdy, revolting excess. titles should reveal something significant about a film, so let the title Babylon serve as an announcement and a warning. Prepare, then, for wild sexual orgies, plenty of pills and drugs, tons of alcohol, projectile vomiting, explosive defecating near and on individuals, plus gratuitous, pervasive, obscene cursing. And that’s just the first half of this three-hour plus extravaganza.

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