Seriously, the real deal-sealer is the apparent likelihood that La La Land will end up cresting $100 million. As the New Years’ Eve weekend drew to a close the Lionsgate release was at $37 million. This inspired N.Y. Times reporter Brooke Barnes to call it “the No. 1 prestige release of the year” and to remind that La La earnings are “on par with films like Silver Linings Playbook, which went on to collect more than $132 million in the United States and Canada in 2012.”
HE commenter Bobby Peru, who predicted on or about 9.4.16 that La La Land would only do “arthouse-level business”, has never manned up and eaten his words, which any person of character would have done by now.
I still don’t understand the analogies between the national mood (i.e., widespread depression over the election of Donald Trump) and La La Land possibly winning the Best Picture Oscar…or not.
On 10.24 Cinemaholic‘s Gautam Anand wrote in an HE comment thread that “with Hillary Clinton winning the election, Hollywood will be in a celebration mood, [and] La La Land will hugely benefit from that. I know to many this may sound ridiculous, but imagine Trump winning the election and then Hollywood going for something like La La Land. It wouldn’t feel right.”
So now with Trump sending everyone into a psychological tailspin, it feels “right” to celebrate La La Land anyway?
Contrast this with Barnes declaring that “the moviegoing masses sent clear messages in 2016, [which is that] fantasy worlds of any kind, whether underwater or in outer space, are worth the trip to theaters. But reality? Not so much.” If you allow that voting preferences of Academy and guild members often bear some relation or resemblance to box-office popularity, as previously noted, a La La land victory would make sense.
But La La Land (to its considerable credit) is not a fantasy film. Well, it is in terms of resorting to song and dance escapism, but it’s mostly a film about downish career struggles, disappointments and rejections.
Back during the Telluride Film Festival Tom Hanks was so enthused about La La Land that he declared that “if the audience doesn’t embrace it, we’re all doomed.” So I guess we aren’t doomed then — not spiritually, at least.