A publicist I spoke to during a lunch earlier this afternoon told me that 80% of the “people” (journalists, I presume) she’s spoken to about Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu‘s Babel have been iffy about it — too long, too much like the previous Innaritu films, etc. But there’s no basis for anyone to “meh” this film, I argued. It’s too well crafted, too full of feeling and echoes about parenting and children. Later I talked with an industry guy who’s spoken at length with Samuel L. Jackson, who saw Babel as a judge at the Cannes Film Festival, and the guy said Jackson felt that Babel is “Crash Benetton” — i.e., a European version of Paul Haggis‘s Best Picture winner. Dammit…that’s a ridiculous point of view. Babel may be in the same solar system as Crash, but it’s certainly not on the same planet. What the hell’s going on there?