I watched "Babel" this morning, and, I must say, I found myself a little "meh" about the film. It's a good movie, but not a great one. The acting is excellent, and it is nice to see some of the best talent in other countries on the American screen. The idea of interconnected storylines in very different parts of the world is appealing, but it's damn hard to pull off convincingly, unless it's a James Bond movie, and those aren't exactly written to show the interconnectedness of all sentient beings. In "Babel," the point is that suffering and hope are universal phenomena. I found myself a little icked out by the Japanese girl looking for love in all the wrong places, and pretty unsympathetic to the undocumented alien nanny in California who took the kids to Mexico--after learning that their mother had been shot in Africa, if I got the timeline of the film right. Also, the link between the Japanese and African storylines was just a bit too tenuous for me.
If I a vote, I would probably pick "Little Miss Sunshine" as best motion picture of the year, with "The Departed" a very close second. As much as I love violent Scorsese films, LMS is fresh, quirky, and authentic. Interestingly, DW agrees with me on that. We frequently don't see eye to eye on our entertainment choices, and I didn't think she would like LMS. I haven't seen "The Queen" or "Letters from Iwo Jima," so I can't comment on them.