Is La La Land really all its Hyped Up to Be? Damien Chazelle’s La La Land has been nominated for 14 Oscars, we all heard this morning as the Oscars live streamed their nomination picks. https://youtu.be/SAqyTP1LOxo
But is it really worth all the hype it’s been generating? First things first, the trailer does not do the film justice; but that being said I generally liked the movie. Was it in the same caliber as Titanic and All About Eve, the only two other movies ever attaining 14 nominations? Well, that’s what I’m about to start hashing out.
As I try to wrap my head around the qualities of La La Land, a quick sentence pops into my head, “Is this the new age of film?” So I go through my checklist of what a great film makes; superb acting, explicit casting, seamless writing, and aesthetically pleasing cinematography. I came up with this, “The acting is spot on, casting works, writing isn’t anything special but it kept me engaged, and the cinematography was interesting yet safe. So how does a feel-good yet tame movie like La La Land grab so much hype and popularity among the nominations committee? Here are my thoughts.
The committee is burned out. One can only imagine that after years of screening everything from Titanic to Deadpool, the committee has opted into a different judgmental head space. Just like the rest of us. Honestly, who can blame them; 2016 has been a very publicly difficult year for everyone. With everything on the spectrum from devastating catastrophes, struggles for world peace, and our very own harrowing election, who can blame any of us for not being who we used to be. So how does that affect the nominations?
Anyone who has ever seen a movie or read a book feels they can generally get the gist of the work and make a sound prediction of what they think the outcome will be. Yet there are artists out there still shocking us and saving unprecedented reveals for the future. La La Land, I will gladly admit, falls under the unique category while staying very grounded. A scene with a throwaway touch of awkward strategically sets up our minds for a nice chuckle or a sense of relatability, while a grandiose musical number leaves us hanging for something more fantastical to come. The film works is what I’m trying to say, like a piece of IKEA furniture. Functional, aesthetically pleasing, and overall gives us a sense of accomplishment and order for our everyday living. But what does La La Land contribute artistically to our lives? What is the umbrella theme fueling its message?
Sadly, I find myself still searching for the answer to that question. Emma Stone, the lead actress playing the role of an actress named Mia, says in a YouTube interview that the film is about, “two dreamers, trying to find their way.” Not much of a meaningful artistic message if you consult with the tried-and-true steadfast artists, but maybe enough for this year’s audience to say, “This may be the picture of the year.” I don’t know, that statement may be proved true or false on the night of the Oscars but what we all can attest and visibly recognize is the heart, soul, and dedication that was put into the film.
So, is La La Land worthy of all its praise? We will find out soon enough. The 2017 89th Academy Awards will be broadcasted on February 26th 7e/4p live on ABC TV.
BY: Christina Klessig
The Honest Posters for this year's Oscar nominees are spot on http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/oscars-2017-…