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Oscar preview: “Babel”

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By Desiree Perez

Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt star in “Babel.” (A.M.P.A.S.)

By Desiree Perez

If you haven’t seen “Babel” yet, you’re missing out. Still, you wouldn’t be the only one. When it came to the must see movies of 2006, many people passed on this moving drama. Fortunately, the brilliance of this complex and intense film has not gone entirely unnoticed.

This modern day drama, set in four corners of the world, explores the stories of four different families united by a single tragedy, as they struggle to communicate and find real human connection with the people around them.

The film has received several nominations for this year’s Oscar awards. These include nods for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.

“Babel” also picked up two nominations in the category of Best Supporting Actress for the contributions of both Adrianna Barraza and Riko Kikuchi.

Between the two, Kikuchi displayed the most outstanding work. Cheiko, played by Kikuchi, was easily one of the most intricate and disturbed characters of the film. The fact that Cheiko is deaf and mute is also a testament to Kikuchi’s formidable abilities as an actress.

Although their performances were excellent, these women will have to face tough opposition to be honored. Their competition includes fellow cast member Cate Blanchett for her role in “Notes on a Scandal.”

Surprisingly absent is a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the poignant and tortured performance that Brad Pitt delivers. Even Eddie Murphy got nominated! Murphy’s performance in “Dreamgirls” is less than inspiring and shrinks in the shadow of Pitt’s dramatic reach.

Despite its obvious strengths, come Oscar night, don’t be surprised if “Babel” goes unrecognized. It is up against some worthy adversaries.

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