Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Thomas Balmès|
|Produced by||Alain Chabat|
|Music by||Bruno Coulais|
|Edited by||Reynald Bertrand
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
Babies, also known as Baby(ies) and Bébé(s), is a 2006 French documentary film by Thomas Balmès that follows four humans through their first year after birth. Two of the babies featured in the film are from rural areas: Ponijao from Opuwo, Namibia, and Bayar(jargal) from Bayanchandmani, Mongolia, and two are from urban areas: Mari from Tokyo, Japan, and Hattie from San Francisco, U.S. The film was released in the United States by Focus Features on 14 April 2006.
The documentary opens showing how Ponijao comes into the world in a modest hut after her mother rubs some red pigment all over her pregnancy-swollen belly. Hattie, on the other hand, arrives in a state-of-the-art birthing center surrounded by medical equipment and technicians. Another scene shows Bayar being born and tightly swaddled in a hospital, before heading off with his parents and a sibling on a motorcycle to the rural area where the family lives. Other highlights include Mari's tantrum when she is frustrated with a toy, Hattie getting bored during an organized play session, Bayar taking a bath while a goat comes to drink from the same water, and Ponijao fighting with a sibling when they are playing on the ground.
The documentary shows the contrasts of the four cultures without using any form of narration, leaving it to the viewers to take from the film what they want.
Babies received generally positive reviews. 69% of ninety-one reviews on the site Rotten Tomatoes favored the film. The site's consensus is that "Babies is a joyous celebration of humankind that's loaded with adorable images, but it lacks insight and depth." The film received a score of sixty-three on Metacritic. Owen Gleiberman, a reviewer for Entertainment Weekly, called Babies a crowd-pleaser and gave it a "B". Katey Rich of Cinema Blend called the film "brilliantly simple".
The film had its widest US release in 543 theaters, grossing $7,320,323 at the box office. It grossed $2,175,039 at the foreign box office; a worldwide gross of $9,495,362.
- Focus Features, "Babies Film Synopsis", Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy, "StudioCanal has a banner Cannes", "Variety", 17 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Internet Movie Database, "Release dates for Bébé(s)", Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Babies (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Owen Gleiberman, "Movie Review: Babies", Entertainment Weekly, 6 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Katey Rich, "Babies – Review", Cinema Blend, 3 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Babies". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
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