Hollywood has largely turned the page on drug-related excesses, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, the stars of the movie “Babylon,” about the hedonistic Hollywood of the roaring 1920s and entered the Oscar race, explained Monday.
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Paramount’s highly anticipated film, directed by Damien Chazelle (“La La Land,” “Whiplash”), premiered to critics Monday night at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. (United States) which presents these prestigious awards every year.
Tobey Maguire and Jean Smart also star in the film, which chronicles the fortunes of mostly fictional Hollywood actors and directors trying to make the transition from silent to talky, but also a lifestyle of debauched parties dusted with cocaine and chaotic filming. , explicit images in support.
“There’s a lot less drugs in Hollywood these days,” said Margot Robbie, when asked during a post-show panel if the film made her nostalgic for the so-called “golden age” of the film industry.
“Unfortunately, it’s true!” Brad Pitt joked.
“Babylon” is one of the latest Oscar nominees to be presented to the Academy. The film will be released on December 23 in North America – just in time to qualify for the Oscars in March – before a wider release in January. Reviews remain embargoed.
Elephants and dancers topless
Franco-American Damien Chazelle made cinematic history in 2017 when he became the youngest Oscar winner for best director at age 32 for “La La Land,” an ode to Hollywood musicals. Previously, “Whiplash” (2014) was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay.
For three hours, “Babylon” recounts the Los Angeles of the 1920s and 1930s, its lavish parties with elephants and topless dancers as well as its expensive filming in the California desert.
The film also deals with racism or the devastating effect on silent stars of rapid technological change. Some have been evicted almost overnight.
Damien Chazelle explained that he was inspired by reading about a “strange phenomenon in the late 1920s, with this epidemic of suicides, deaths that appear to have been overdoses of a suicidal drug.”
This phenomenon coincided with the transition to talkies in Hollywood and is what “gave him this brutal face”, according to the director, who created his characters based on some real stars and tycoons of the time.
Brad Pitt explained that he discussed with Chazelle this period during which Hollywood was the “Wild West”.
“I kind of let that era go, I didn’t really pay attention to it – because it’s not a genre of games that I refer to,” he continued. “That’s not what we’re pulling today.”