La La Land Breaks Golden Globes Records And Why That Matters
Before you groan, ‘A musical took home the hardware? Really?’ Take a moment to remember just why the hell the movie industry is what it is today. It wasn’t because of a giant angry green scientist going toe-to-toe with a Norse God. It wasn’t with sticks of light and asthma-wheezing bad guys. It began with sound.
With the advent of sound recording, the studios began creating ‘talkies’ and the industry changed. It brought films to life like never before. It allowed studios to put their stars more front and center. They can speak! No sound, no Captain America.
When the studios discovered sound, they realized very quickly the aspect audiences loved most about it: the music. It was one thing to hear your favorite movie stars speak. It was quite another to have your favorite movie stars become your favorite musical acts, too. The industry began pushing musicals like mad, the first blockbusters. No musicals, no Jurassic World.
La La Land is a throwback to the original blockbusters, the kind which saw the commodification of star power at its most honest. These weren’t movie stars standing in front of green screens playing dress-up. These were artists who had to sing, dance, and act. It took incredible talent to be a big star in the Studio Era. It takes a personal trainer and a great manager today. No talent, no cinema.
In La La Land, Globe winners Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling play artists. Not movie stars - artists. They believe in the art they practice but they’re stuck in a world that says, ‘Sorry, you don’t have the look. Get a personal trainer and a good manager.’ The opening scene is a song-and-dance set piece during a freeway traffic jam in Los Angeles where every person is a dreamer with a talent – but they’re all stuck in it together. Some will succeed and most will fail.
La La Land is not for everybody . If you can’t let yourself escape, if you don’t refuse to be self-serious, you won’t like it. But you can certainly strive to appreciate it. No La La Land, no fun.
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb
Rhys has worked six years in the public relations industry rubbing shoulders with movie stars (who ignored him) to athletes (who tolerated him). He likes tiki-taka football, jelly beans, and arguing with Bruce about everything.