Babel features an ensemble cast on three continents, weaving stories about two Moroccan boys who accidentally shoot an American tourist, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children, and a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by police in Tokyo.
The director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ( 21 Grams, Amores Perros), stitches together these seemingly disparate story-lines into an emotional drama that features Blanchett and Brad Pitt as Americans suddenly thrust into a life-threatening crisis in a remote Moroccan village when she is wounded after a bullet strikes their tour bus. The film also stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Koji Yakusho.
" Babel was a title I found a couple of months before I started shooting," Inarritu said, "and the Old Testament [account] about men building this tower and trying to arrive to the sky and be God. God gets angry and he creates these different languages." But rather than languages that separate us, the director said he was concerned with the "preconceptions" that we have of one another that keep us apart.
For Blanchett it was not the most immediately appealing role - she spends most of the time dying in a pool of blood. During filming the crew put meat juice on her fake wound to attract flies.
But she hailed the film as a "masterpiece". She thought it explored the connections between parents and children.
"It felt very personal to me," said the mother of two young boys, referring especially to the scenes with the nanny attempting to return to San Diego from her son's wedding in Mexico. She becomes lost on foot in the desert with two small American children in her care.
Watching that drama unfold on screen, Blanchett said, was gut-wrenching. "I mean, it's like pulling roots of my system out and displaying them on the ground in front of me."
2 great roles in one year, usually means instant nom. And Cate deserves a Best Actress Award by NOW