La La Land Wins Big

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In early January, the feel good movie La La Land broke the record for most Golden Globes won by a single film, claiming all 7 awards it was nominated for. At the beginning, the movie seems quite predictable as its plot is simple, set up as the classic tale of struggling musician boy meets struggling actress girl. Seb and Mia, played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, strive to achieve their dreams in the cutthroat Los Angeles entertainment world. The opening scene of La La Land sets up an expectation that this movie will be a light and airy singalong. The title of the opening song, “Another Day of Sun” seems to confirm this assumption. However, after the opening song, the music and the plot turn the viewer’s expectations upside down. Spoiler alert: this is not your typical love story.  

The viewer can appreciate La La Land on a shallow level, losing oneself in the catchy tunes while sinking into his or her seat to witness a heartwarming love story. Plus, I don’t think any viewer could object to the idea of spending 2 hours with Gosling or Stone. La La Land, however, can also be appreciated at a deeper level. It is the story of all of us– people struggling to achieve their dreams in a world that is constantly telling us that our dreams are not attainable. Stone and Gosling are living examples of this in that, prior to La La Land, neither of them were known for singing or dancing. However, both add a certain majesty to the film in their effortless portrayal of Seb and Mia.

The past year has witnessed a rebirth of musicals. The seemingly lost artform made a dramatic comeback with the redefining Broadway musical Hamilton and the new Disney movie Moana playing to sellout crowds. What is the reason for this resurgence? Perhaps we are in desperate need of a light form of escapism. Maybe we want to feel that our dreams are in fact attainable. Or, maybe we just want to go to someplace new. No matter what the reason, La La Land is likely a place you’ll want to visit.

 

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La La Land Wins Big