YMMV / Babel

  • Award Snub: Despite getting lots of attention and buzz for the role, Rinko Kikuchi ended up missing most of the awards in the main circuit and ultimately lost the Oscar to Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, a decision which can still lead to some vicious film forum arguments.
  • Awesome Music: The film's affecting score is one of the best-remembered parts of the movie and was responsible for its sole win at the Oscars.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Chieko. She's the least connected to the main plot, but critics were talking about Rinko Kikuchi's Oscar chances the instant the movie came out.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Chieko makes a last desperate attempt at becoming intimate with a man by taking her clothes off and make sexual advances on a policeman in her home, but he understandably freaks out at her behaviour along with her being a minor. Chieko is devastated at being rejected again and starts sobbing and clutching her chest. It's a heartbreaking moment, but it's mitigated somewhat when the policeman realizes her suffering and gives her a Cool Down Hug.
  • Retroactive Recognition: American audiences are now far more likely to recognize Rinko Kikuchi (Chieko) for her role as Mako Mori in Pacific Rim. Interestingly, Alejandro González Iñárritu is known to be good friends with fellow Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (they're two-thirds of the so-called "Three Amigos", along with Alfonso Cuarón); Iñárritu may well have been the one who recommended Kikuchi to Del Toro for Pacific Rim.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • This goes hand-in-hand with Oscar Bait movies. The exceptionally sad scenes all involve the deaf Japanese girl struggling with coming of age and her maturing sexuality.
    • Though she arguably brought it on herself, Amelia breaking down in custody realizing she's going to get deported, knowing she won't get to see the children she adores again.
    • Richard desperately trying to get help for his wife in a country where he can't speak the native language, and eventually crying on the phone listening to his son talk about his day.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: It's the case for many (but not all) characters. Obviously caused by the Idiot Plot.
  • The Woobie: The film was built on this. A devastated and unstable schoolgirl struggling with trauma from her mother's suicide and her desperation for sexual experience, along with her grieving father who is clearly worried about her; tourists grieving the loss of their infant son who suffer from a completely random act of violence; a father whose family is torn apart by a single purchase; and even with her stupid decision it's not hard to feel bad for the nanny searching desperately for help on the border with two small, exhausted, and frightened children.