Damien Chazelle, the film’s director, has addressed the film’s unfavorable reviews. Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, and Tobey Maguire played a variety of characters in the movie, which is director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed La La Land (2016) and First Man (2018). The film also featured an ensemble of characters who were portrayed by other well-known actors, including Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, and Tobey Maguire. Even though the movie was nominated for five Golden Globes, it only received an officially Rotten score of 55% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

In a recent interview with Insider, Chazelle discussed Babylon, which will be released in US theaters on December 23, 2022. In its second weekend, Avatar: The Way of Water will outperform Babylon at the box office. He admitted that he is unconcerned by the film’s unfavorable reviews because, once it is released, the work belongs to the public rather than the creator. We all knew the movie was going to ruffle some feathers and make some people mad, and I think that’s good, he said, explaining that he wanted to start a conversation with the audience. Below is his complete quote:

“I don’t really pay that much attention to that. You know, it’s an interesting thing of, where you make something, and then I do believe that it sort of becomes — once the filmmaker finishes the movie — the audience’s, and that includes the critics, includes everyone. And everyone’s gonna have a different take on the film. And I think they’re all legitimate.”

“It becomes the world’s movie, in a way. That’s why I sort of don’t really believe in — though I’m fine when people do it — filmmakers going back and tinkering after the fact and whatnot. I mean, it’s fine, but I do think at a certain point, a movie represents a moment in time and a moment in history.”

“But it’s good to have something that stimulates conversation and debate and a lot of fierce opinions on either side. We all knew the movie was gonna ruffle some feathers and get some people mad, and I think that’s good. More movies should do that.”

Score Highlights For Babylon Having Issues With Rotten Tomatoes

Damien Chazelle Discusses Babylon's Rotten Tomatoes Splat
Paramount Pictures

Babylon has received mixed reviews from critics and viewers alike. In addition to receiving a 55 percent rating from critics, the movie also received a 51 percent rating based on the opinions of more than 1,000 viewers. Along with being a critical and commercial failure, the movie only made about $15 million at the box office, far short of its estimated $75 million production budget.

However, this rating and the way it has contributed to the movie’s unfavorable reputation expose a serious flaw in Rotten Tomatoes’ methodology for determining reviews. Babylon received a score of 50 out of 100, which indicates that at least half of the 277 critics who gave it a review thought it was good. A film is not a failure if only 50% of viewers enjoy it; rather, it is merely one that is intended to appeal to a particular segment of the audience and spark lively debate among friends with diverse viewpoints.

Babylon is a confrontational movie, so a rating system that emphasizes consensus isn’t appropriate, or at the very least one that classifies a split rating as wholly unfavorable. Although its gleeful excess and vulgarity won’t appeal to everyone, those who do usually end up loving the film and praising the stars’ risk-taking performances that earned them Golden Globe nominations. This is a problem with the service that knowledgeable viewers can get around, but it occasionally causes people to unnecessarily avoid a movie they may enjoy that just so happens to be divisive.

Source: Insider