At the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony, smash hit La La Land earned a record-breaking seven wins. The film won in every category it was nominated for, and it really was no surprise to anyone.
But does La La Land deserve the gold statue attention that it is getting?
Here’s the truth about La La Land. It is not a modern classic in the making. It will almost certainly spawn a long, tiring run of knockoff musicals trying to bank on the success of this one-off success. So get ready for that.
La La Land is good, don’t get me wrong. It is one of the best films of 2016, in fact. This said, there is a reason why this film is getting so much attention over other, arguably better films from last year.
First, Hollywood is quick to honor La La Land because it paints a dreamy and idealistic picture of Hollywood. The technicolor throwback feel of La La Land gives Hollywood a timeless filter. While Hollywood itself is certainly not as picturesque as the film makes it seem, the Hollywood in the film is exactly what people within the industry want to showcase. It is a place where dreams of artistry can and will be made real.
Second, for a lot of people 2016 was a pretty bad year. For the industry, in particular, 2016 saw a lot of heartbreaking loss. So when a feel-good film comes in and wins everyone’s hearts, it is unsurprising when the industry rewards that film. Because why would they honor a nuanced and realistic depiction of coming of age amid adversity where finding one’s identity seems impossible? Or a nuanced and realistic depiction of a loss of faith at the hands of tragic loss?
La La Land was the easy choice. It was the necessary choice, to some extent. That does not mean it is the best choice. (Again, a good film).
Is this all too cynical of a viewpoint? Well keep in mind that these are award shows where everyone in Hollywood pats each other on the back for being part of Hollywood. Also…they’re just movies.
As always, thanks for reading!
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)