The Oscars are being held tomorrow. I can understand why a lot of people might not want to watch them: the self-satisfied political posturing, the paucity of good movies, the windy acceptance speeches, and the sleaziness of what passes for glamour these days.
But I plan to watch, although probably not every single moment. I always enjoy the fashions, good or bad. And I’m curious to see if a movie I’ve actually seen—“La La Land”—will set some sort of record for Oscars.
A lot of people have questioned why this movie, which is pretty good but not necessarily one of the all-time greats, has been nominated for so very many awards. Well, one reason might be the lack of quality competition. Another might be that it celebrates the city of Los Angeles and aspiring to be an actor, which after all is the home of most of the people doing the voting and the profession of many of them.
Oh, it has other things to recommend it, too. A hummable score, an opening number that knocks your socks off, popular and attractive leads, bright colors. But I think key to the whole thing is romance. I think that I can say, without spoiling the movie for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, that one of the most remarkable things about the film is the big big deal it makes of the first hand-holding between the man and woman who are its main protagonists. Hand-holding, a monumental activity, a watershed moment? Yes.
Same for their first kiss. And though we can assume that sex definitely enters into the picture for this couple, it doesn’t really enter into the picture known as “La La Land.” Dancing is the stand-in for it.
I maintain that people are thirsty for that sort of approach, even young people. They’ve been brought up on so much overt and even casual sex in the movies (and in music, and online, and in life) that it no longer has any novelty to watch it being enacted on the big screen.