'La La Land' Did Not Deserve Best Picture To Begin With

'La La Land' Did Not Deserve Best Picture To Begin With

Hollywood ought to get its priorities straight.

Slant Magazine

Halfway through "La La Land," I was already sick of it.

I had at first appreciated the music, the talk of forgotten dreams and unresolved ambition, and I thought the romance popping up between the two main characters was cute. And then they got to that ridiculous observatory scene where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are floating around the observatory, dancing, quite literally, in the air, and it was just too much. The scene dragged on, making it out as though two lost-in-time straight white middle-class creatives falling in love was something revolutionary. What had been interesting at the beginning slowly turned into a film that felt unrealistic- very few people can dress like Emma Stone's character, what with all her 1940s sundresses and heels, and live a normal life, and if I have to watch one more movie about a white guy trying to "save" jazz, I might just have to go into film myself to do something about it.

The film was good, cute, mildly interesting, but it wasn't something I expected all this wild hype to emerge from. It was a relatively mindless and enjoyable two hours of my life, but not the kind of film that made me leave the theater wanting to change the world, not the kind of film that filled me with strong emotions or inspiration. It felt as Hollywood as you could get, which perhaps is the point, considering it's a movie about Hollywood as it is- or at least, as characters in the position which Gosling's and Stone's are can imagine it to be. While the film is meant to be about their struggles to make it as artists, their success seemed to come fairly easy to them. There was none of the grittiness, the hopelessness, of putting yourself on the line for a dream, and when they finally did achieve their goals, they achieved them in grand proportions, fulfilling the ambitions the characters had come to Hollywood with.

And maybe that's why the film felt like it was selling out to me, continuing to perpetuate this myth that Hollywood (and other big cities where young people go to pursue a dream) is where you can make something of yourself, where you can hope and believe and good things will come to you. But, as one of my professors once said, if you're going to do something great, you're going to have to suffer for it. These characters suffered, but very little, and their suffering felt trivial- outside of their respective ambitions, they lived fine lives. And in the end, they both achieved their goals, even if that meant they didn't get to stay together.

I left the theater tired of hearing about a white man "saving" jazz while the black man "sells out" by adapting the music to fit the modern age. Tired of watching Emma Stone spin around in ridiculous outfits and pretend her life is falling apart all because she might have to pursue an alternative career like many young people eventually do. And when things don't go her way, she gives up and returns to her childhood bedroom, sulking. The main redeeming factor of this film was that they got rid of the cliche that the couple could truly stay together in the end.

So it was a fine film, I suppose, nothing necessarily wrong with it. But in no way was it deserving of all the attention which it received, the 14 Academy Award nominations. Not when there were so many other films that did create that inspiration, that emotion, that escape to another world for a few hours. " La La Land" told a story, sure, but it wasn't a story that was particularly exciting or revolutionary. And the fact that it was up for so many awards, to begin with, demonstrates the whitewashing of Hollywood, the outdated priorities so many major award shows continue to prove.

Which is why it was so important that Best Picture did not go to "La La Land." Why it went to a film with a predominantly POC cast, a film about an LGBT character- the first LGBT film to ever win Best Picture. A film that tells a story that needs to be heard, which is a role that so many films today take on, a role that is more important than ever. We need media that helps us to understand, that makes us expand our horizons and think beyond what we may have experienced, and "La La Land" doesn't do that. And in the world we are living in today, that lack of meaning is what should have never made it a real contender for Best Picture, to begin with, not against films such as "Moonlight," "Lion," or "Hidden Figures," all of which tell stories that the world needs to hear, whether they're willing to recognize it or not.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.


Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments