“La La Land,” unlikely hit for awards

By Mackenzie Dineen & Dana Sutcliffe – Arts Editor & 1851 Staff

America is full of incredibly talented ac- tors, actresses, directors, and producers who all come together on one night to celebrate the highly acclaimed films released in the past year. This year’s Golden Globes took place on January 8 and was hosted by none other than Jimmy Fallon. His witty banter kept the night going smoothly.

There were a few obvious wins this year at the Golden Globes including “The Crown,” which won Best TV Drama Series and actress Viola Davis scored Best Supporting Actres for her role in “Fences.” The one that really took the cake though was “La La Land”– winning multiple awards. Overall, it won Best Screen- play of a Motion Picture, proving that all the hype about seeing the movie was quite accu- rate. Emma Stone was awarded with Best Ac- tress in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture and Ryan Gosling won the equivalent with Best Actor.

Whether you watched the Golden Globes and were thrilled with the results, or heard about the awards given after the fact, this year’s event provided many reasons to go to the movies if you haven’t been in a while.

“La La Land” portrays the human condition, it looks to instill fulfillment in its viewers one moment, and break their hearts the next. It is the tale of two individuals, each enchant- ed by the other’s passion for their craft. The film is balanced between vibrant dance numbers and more intimate scenes which display raw human interactions. Stone and Gosling have an effervescent chemistry, one that leaves audience members hoping for a happy ending.

The film’s focus on the relationship is minimal in comparison to the struggles of Mia’s (Stone) acting career prospects and Sebastian’s (Gosling) passion for authentic jazz music. This is what makes the film special; in telling a story driven by fervor for art, the film is more universal. It translates on an individual level in terms of love for a person, as well as love for one’s calling.

“La La Land’s” bold and colorful visuals and Hollywood setting are reminiscent of just that – Hollywood. The same goes for its classic score, entirely composed of original music, which is lyrically simple, yet charming. The music maintains a level of whimsy, as do the large-scale dance numbers. The seamless choreography is used to develop plot points and establish pace.

The characters’ authenticity grounds the spectacular nature of the musical. Both Mia and Sebastian are complete with the perfect amount of cynicism, doubt, and pride, to combat the hopeful, forgiving, and inspiring personality of the movie. Screenwriter Damien Chazelle did not shy away from the harsh realities of life. At no point does the film seem unrealistically naïve or forced for the sake of glamour.

“La La Land” was nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards, according to Vanity Fair, and grossed $232 million, in addition to its Golden Globes wins.

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