‘La La Land’: A Glorious Movie that Succumbs to Pessimism
No movie comes more highly recommended than La La Land, which won more Golden Globe Awards (seven) than any other movie in history and which is now poised to sweep the Oscars (fourteen nominations). Does La La Land, as its admirers assert, really evoke the Hollywood of old? Is it a classic musical that spurns the irony and cynicism of modern Hollywood?
It is a stunning achievement. And yet there is something very wrong.
The movie is about the achievement of dreams. For Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), it is to be a successful jazz musician without compromising his art for the sake of popularity. For Mia (Emma Stone) it is to be an actress.
But we, the viewers, know what the real dream is. In fact, we wait the whole movie long to see the culmination of their love for each other. This is where the story wants to go.
But a fateful decision is made by the two characters (and ultimately, their author) when, in order to achieve their individual dreams, they are faced with the decision to give up the bigger dream, the real dream, and they end up succumbing to the temptation that kills all dreams in modern movies.
Where does modern Hollywood get the idea that a sad ending to a happy story is more profound than a happy ending to a happy story?