Eye Say

Looking over La La Land at the Oscars.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Emma Stone shines with Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle's La La Land
Emma Stone shines with Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle's La La Land Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Take the opening number from Jacques Demy's Les Demoiselles De Rochefort mixed with Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 and copy to Los Angeles. Put girls in traffic light-colored dresses that vaguely resemble those from Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's On the Town. Add an introspective song, channeling Claudine Longet, from Blake Edwards' The Party - plus an elephant and mix in some Esther Williams underwater fun. Make a melody sound like the one given by Michel Legrand to Michel Piccoli's M Dame. Borrow from Fred Astaire: Sand Under Shoes in Mark Sandrich's Top Hat, A Fine Romance of George Stevens' Swing Time, and the lift in Charles Walters' The Belle Of New York. From Kelly: Seine dance, paintings coming to life, studio setting and It's Always Fair Weather - without the war. This is important. Omit the war! Also the one in Algeria as the reason for the couple to break apart, while otherwise spelling out the ending (including a child) of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

 Oscar Best Actor nominee Ryan Gosling
Oscar Best Actor nominee Ryan Gosling Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

James Baldwin, as voiced by Samuel L Jackson, in Raoul Peck's Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, explains how the American affinity for simplicity and sincerity results in the fact that "immaturity is taken to be a virtue too."

La La Land lacks anything controversial that these beautiful, consequential, memorable films have and instead offers variations on following your carefree dreams. The film with the most (14) Oscar nominations in 2017 thus ends up being a celebration of amnesia, narcissism and hypocrisy.

Best Picture; Director Damien Chazelle; Actress Emma Stone; Actor Ryan Gosling; Original Screenplay Damien Chazelle; Cinematography Linus Sandgren; Editing Tom Cross; Costume Design Mary Zophres; Original Score Justin Hurwitz; Sound Mixing Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steven Morrow; Sound Editing Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou; Original Song - Audition (The Fools Who Dream) - Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Original Song - City of Stars - Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Production Design David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco.

The 89th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebration takes place tonight, February 26, 2017.

Share this with others on...
News

Doing the right thing Desirae Brown on creating music, activism, childhood and The 5 Browns: Digging Through The Darkness

Interconnecting the layers Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck on Patricia Rommel and Never Look Away

Inspired by science Eliza McNitt on Jessica Chastain, Darren Aronofsky and her VR experience Spheres

Wish you were here Lin Shaye on The Final Wish, character creation, horror, comedy and The Grudge

The myth and the dream RaMell Ross on Hale County This Morning, This Evening and the influence of Apichatpong Weerasethakul

A cinematic blessing Simon Lereng Wilmont on The Distant Barking Of Dogs

French honour for Sundance Kid Robert Redford to receive Special César award

More news and features

We're looking forward to the Sundance Film Festival and the Glasgow Film Festival.



We've recently been covering the French Film Festival UK, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the Marrakech Film Festival and Talinn Black Nights .



Read our full for recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

Win one of 10 great packs of merchandise to celebrate the release of Stan & Ollie in our latest competition. Plus win a copy of Tehran Taboo on DVD.