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Exactly How Rare / Precious is "La La Land"?

With La La Land opening tomorrow (go see it) we must discuss it's already combed over reception from film critics and awards pundits and the like. When La La Land took the Best Picture prize from the NYFCC last week, certain pockets of people were outraged. Suddenly it was a "safe" movie, middlebrow, something utterly and completely common. 'Boy meets girls. Boy loses girl. UGH Romantic Dramas, am I right?!' Awards season backlash and contrarianism is a real thing though people try to pretend it's not each and every year and consider their motives solely pure. I know I've been guilty of it myself. I trust exactly no one in the entire talking-about-movies ecosphere who claims they haven't. Awards season is like politics; It affects everyone, even or especially those who rage against it and claim it to be meaningless to them. File that type under "the lady doth protest too much".

Naturally I was quick to jump to La La Land's defense whenever this happened. This was not because I love it (which I do...but keeping it 100 it's not a Moulin Rouge! level masterwork or anything) or even because I am a die hard warrior for the musical form. No, I bristle solely because this stance is ridiculous. La La Land is absolutely the furthest thing from a "safe" or common movie. And how uncommon it is, after further research, was stunning even to me!

Some lists before the revelation... 

Musicals That Have Been Nominated For Best Picture
☆ based on a stage musical
 ✪ non-traditional musical (i.e. no breaking out into song as reality, often biopics of musicians)
✹ jukebox musical (pre-existing showtunes)

2012 LES MISERABLES (8 nominations | 3 wins) ☆ 
2004 RAY (6 nominations | 2 wins) ✪
2002 CHICAGO (13 nominations | 6 wins) ☆ 
2001 MOULIN ROUGE! (8 nominations | 2 wins) ✹
1991 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (6 nominations | 2 wins)
1980 COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER (7 nominations | 1 win) ✪ 
1979 ALL THAT JAZZ (9 nominations | 4 wins) ✹
1975 NASHVILLE (5 nominations | 1 win) ✪
1972 CABARET (10 nominations | 8 wins) ☆ 
1971 FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (8 nominations | 3 wins) ☆ 
1969 HELLO DOLLY! (7 nominations | 3 wins) ☆ 
1968 OLIVER! (11 nominations | 5 wins) ☆ 
1968 FUNNY GIRL (8 nominations | 1 win) ☆ 
1967 DOCTOR DOLITTLE (9 nominations | 2 wins)
1965 THE SOUND OF MUSIC (10 nominations | 5 wins) ☆ 
1964 MY FAIR LADY (12 nomiantions | 8 wins) ☆ 
1964 MARY POPPINS (13 nominations | 5 wins)
1962 THE MUSIC MAN (6 nominations | 1 win) ☆ 
1961 WEST SIDE STORY (11 nominations | 10 wins) ☆
1958 GIGI (9 nominations | 9 wins) 

1956 THE KING AND I (9 nominations | 5 wins) ☆ 
1954 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (5 nominations | 1 win)
1951 AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (8 nominations | 6 wins)

Not using the "keys" above on the early Best Picture nominees as I'm sure I'll get something wrong. Old musicals are often a hodgepodge of original songs, old songs, music as performance and music as reality but most feel like "traditional" musicals in spirit. 

1948 THE RED SHOES (5 nominations | 2 wins)
1945 ANCHORS AWEIGH (5 nominations | 1 win)
1942 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (8 nominations | 3 wins)  
1939 THE WIZARD OF OZ (5 nominations | 2 wins)
1938 ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND (6 nominations | 1 win) 
1937 100 MEN AND A GIRL (6 nominations | 1 win)
1936 THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (7 nominations | 3 wins)   
1935 BROADWAY MELODY OF 1938 (3 nominations | 1 win)
1935 NAUGHTY MARIETTA (2 nominations | 1 win)
1935 TOP HAT (4 nominations | 0 wins)
1934 THE GAY DIVORCEE (5 nominations | 1 win)
1934 ONE NIGHT OF LOVE (6 nominations | 1 win)
1933 42ND STREET (2 nominations | 0 wins)
1930 THE LOVE PARADE (6 nominations | 0 wins)
1929 THE BROADWAY MELODY (3 nominations | 1 win)

Interesting trivia from that list:
• If you're a Musical and manage a Best Picture nomination you WILL win an Oscar, not necessarily best picture but something. Every film lucky enough to be in that position after 1935 has taken home at least one statue but usually more.

• Originals for the screen are uncommon. Most of the titles above are either jukebox musicals (i.e. built around previously existing songs) or adaptations of stage musicals. Among the originals written for the screen many are also actually adaptations like Mary Poppins and Doctor Dolittle albeit of non-musical sources like children's books.

• It's common knowledge that the 1960s were the most popular decade for musicals in Oscar history. But did you realize how enormous the peak was? With the 1-2-3 punch of My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music in the mid 60s the musical experienced not just its Oscar peak but its box office peak (all three were true phenomenons and still among the most successful movies of all time when adjusted for inflation)

Most-Nominated Musicals That Were NOT Nominated for Best Picture
top 23 due to lots of ties 

  1. Dreamgirls (2008) - 8 nominations | 2 wins
  2. Victor / Victoria (1982) - 7 nominations | 1 win
    Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) - 7 nominations | 1 win 
  3. Star! (1968) - 7 nominations | 0 wins
    Pepe (1960) - 7 nominations | 0 wins 
  4. Fame (1980) - 6 nominations | 2 wins
    The Jolson Story (1946) - 6 nominations | 2 wins 
  5. Lili (1953) - 6 nominations | 1 win
  6. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) - 6 nominations | 0 wins
    Love Me or Leave Me (1955) - 6 nominations | 0 wins
    A Star is Born (1954) - 6 nominations | 0 wins 
    Hans Christian Andersen (1952) - 6 nominations | 0 wins 
  7. Camelot (1967) - 5 nominations | 3 wins
  8. Aladdin (1992) - 5 nominations | 2 wins
  9. Walk the Line (2005) - 5 nominations | 1 win
    Evita (1996) - 5 nominations | 1 win
    Yentl (1983) - 5 nominations | 1 win
    Bedknobs & Broomsticks (1971) - 5 nominations | 1 win
    With a Song in My Heart (1952) - 5 nominations | 1 win
    Cover Girl (1944) - 5 nominations | 1 win  
  10. Funny Lady (1975) - 5 nominations | 0 wins
    Lady Sings the Blues (1972) - 5 nominations | 0 wins
    The Umbrellas of Cherbrough (1964) - 5 nominations | 0 wins
    *special circumstance - nominated for Oscars in two separate years before Oscar fixed a foreign film rules glitch
    Flower Drum Song (1961) - 5 nominations | 0 wins

 • How many of those came close to a Best Picture nomination?
It's tough to say but its easy to imagine both A Star is Born and Victor/Victoria in particular as Best Picture nominees that probably just missed their year's list by an agonizing close margin. They would have certainly made it under the current system of "up to 10" nominees. 

So how rare is La La Land?

Original musicals written for the screen almost never get made today unless they're animated. That's particularly true of the "traditional" musical. Occassionally we'll see original musicals that are non-traditional (i.e musicians at work) but they're all by John Carney: Sing StreetBegin Again or Once. We'll also occassionally get a new jukebox musical using pre-existing songs (like a Moulin Rouge! or an Across the Universe). But only very rarely a true original. Almost everything else is adapted from the stage where musicals are much safer bets.

In fact in the past 25 years the only live action originals that were also traditional musicals -- at least that we can think of -- have been Dancer in the Dark (2000 - 1 Oscar nomination),  Newsies (1992 - zero Oscar nominations) and, you guessed it, La La Land

You have to go all the way back to Nashville (1975) to find an original musical written for the screen that was nominated for Best Picture -- Cabaret (1972) and All That Jazz (1979), two of the greatest films of all time, were a mix of old and new material so they could sort of count but that's still a long way back!

And if Nashville isn't a "traditional" enough option for you (given that it's musicians at work and no breaking out into song or dance), you have to go all the way back to Doctor Dolittle (1967) and Mary Poppins (1964), a half century ago, to find live action original musicals for the screen that received Best Picture nominations.

So let's not pretend that La La Land and its potential Oscar success are something run of the mill. With the exception of possibly Moonlight (how many black queer films do we get?) there's not a less unicorn feature in the mix this awards year. It's not to be taken lightly and we pray that it's a big success. Original screen musicals outside of the Disney princess genre (currently represented by Moana) are arguably the absolute rarest of film creations. 

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    Response: Bollywood Actress

Reader Comments (40)

The inevitable backlash has already started. One of the most unfair assessment I've read so far is to say that this film is made specifically for the Oscars, which is probably not the case, not with these particular filmmakers and actors I don't think.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterguest

I'd say, on top of Victor/Victoria and Garland's A Star is Born, you'd have also seen citations for The Jolson Story, Lili, Love Me or Leave Me, Hans Christian Anderson, Camelot (Oh, feel the ache of the JFK love) and Walk the Line if it were always a top 10 or a top 6-10.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I definitely have a few qualms with the film, but I don't get how it can be so easily written off when it's so audacious and unlike anything in theatres this year - even by those who aren't as taken with it.

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

I didn't see it to have an opinion. I'm just not that fan of Whiplash as many and I don't want to get dissapointed. The trailer is gorgeous, though.

It's rare that you don't even mention Haispray amomg musical favorites. Oscars nominations be dammed! That was a hoot and deserved much more than some that actually got nominated.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

"Yentl" (1983) - 5 nominations, 1 win

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterScottGS

guest: I'd actually say more musicals are going to get made specifically BECAUSE of the expansion to the 6-10 rule, though. If it were always an Academy top 10 or top 6-10? I doubt "the drought" (1970-somewhere around 2005/6) EVER would have happened. Musicals are not easy to make (they're probably one of the two or three hardest genres to make, up there with dark comedy and epics), and if you're not sure of either commercial success OR prestige back slapping for your efforts? That's going to discourage a lot of filmmakers from going there.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

You missed Gigi winning Best Picture in 1958. But, still a fun timeline...

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I know this is history so ancient it's practically archeology but there's also Hollywood Revue of 1929 (28-29) with Joan Crawford sing and dancing her little heart out; The Smiling Lieutenant (Lubitsch 31-32) and the delightful number "Jazz Up Your Lingerie" (obviously pre-code), and in the same year the Lubitsch/Cukor "One Hour with You" where the whole movie is spoken in rhyme! These movies are not only wonderful in themselves, but now are true historical artifacts. I might also say that She Done Him Wrong (32-33) and Going My Way (44) may be a borderline cases. They both have several musical numbers.

I hate it that "musical" is too often equated with "trivial". An American in Paris holds up a lot better than the self-important and turgid Place in the Sun and A Streetcar Named Desire (despite magnificent acting in the latter). Also, for my money Oliver!, often used as Exhibit A in case studies of Oscar obtuseness, is a lot better than its competitors, although not 2001 or Rosemary's Baby, but then they weren't nominated. I also love Chicago.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterken s

An American in Paris holds up a lot better than the self-important and turgid Place in the Sun and A Streetcar Named Desire (despite magnificent acting in the latter).

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

THANK YOU for this.

I'm going to see this tomorrow (SO. EXCITED!!!), but even before seeing it I feel very confident in saying that there is so much more unique/special/etc. about La La Land by sheer virtue of it being an original musical than, for example, Manchester By The Sea, which could not possibly be any more one-note or expected (despite its strengths).

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

I haven't seen it yet, but I wonder if it's not taken as seriously by some because the movie - whether by being a musical, having a soft color palette (pinks, purples, etc.), being led mostly by a woman - is seen as feminine. It's not macho, it's not ponderous or brooding and therefore it's not serious enough, either. And we know Oscar voters like their serious movies. And when a non-serious movie wins (Shakespeare in Love, The Artist to maybe a lesser extent), it's often used as an example of the Academy getting it wrong.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

It is laughable to think La La Land isn't being positioned primarily to win awards and its inevitable box office smash-ness is a by-product of the machine at work. It is absurd that people think they're somehow above this just because they like the movie.

Look at the behind the scenes of the work: Damian Chazelle is THIRSTY for an Oscar. He decides to unite Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone - one of the blandest pairings in recent movie history that is being shoved down our throats for some reason. He bails on the initial Miles Teller/Emma Watson and decides to go an "older actress" i.e. someone 2 years older with just as much thirst as him.

And as for musicals not being nominated - if they make enough money they're always nominated. It's surprising Hairspray didn't get more nominations considering it deserved them more than some of these nominees. I mean, Les Miserables? Get your ears fixed tbh.

Finally, let's not forget that Indian movies churn out original musicals by the hundreds and yet all of those movies are immediately dismissed/mocked/degraded by the majority of critics (especially by white critics and the token Indians who seem to think they get more cred trashing Indian movies). I wonder why? Of all those movies, not one is worthy for even an Original Song nomination? Right.

Y'all stay clinging to self-created narratives like the ones you've built up for La La Land and Manchester by the Sea. I hope they both go the way of Carol and Brokeback Mountain.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRahul

Rahul -- i appreciate your passion for Bollywood but foreign films are a completely different topic with Oscar and they are only rarely ever considered for anything awards wise outside of Best Foreign Film. and as for Gosling and Stone... I could not actually disagree more. Screen chemistry that good should ALWAYS be returned to. One of the great mistakes of modern cinema is not to pair movie stars that work superbly well together like they did in classic hollywood.

It's such a waste not to flaunt it if ya got it.

Ken -- i cannot with the dissing of A PLACE IN THE SUN. ;) I've seen it way more than An American in Paris and I'm a huge Gene Kelly fan.

Chofer -- Hairspray is such a good musical (love the score) ... it's too bad the film version had some issues here and there. that Hairspray Live last night was pretty great though wasn't it?

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Hey, i am not sure, but isnt Hedwig and the Angry Inch an original musical too?

And Rahul, just calm down, please, the hatred is getting boring

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

lol, Rahul.

Chazelle wrote this script in 2010. At that time, who could imagine that Whiplash would be a major Oscar player? Who could think so far ahead that he was planning his second Oscar contender? Just because he can suddenly get the movies he's been dreaming up for a decade greenlit doesn't make him a cynical, calculated AMPAS worshipper.

If you think bringing this 7-years gestating project to fruition demonstrates his "thirst" for an Oscar, you're on crack. Your way of seeing the world (and interacting with facts and reason) is pitifully flawed. It actually inspires pity in me.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.


Emma Watson left the project to work on another musical - Beauty and The Beast, to be exact.

Miles Teller was axed cause he was demanding more money.

But thanks for your self-righteousness in your post.

I agree with DJ in that the perceived feminity of movie musicals is what causes many self-important critics to devalue their worth. Chicago is a hell of a better movie than Gangs of New York or The Pianist, for instance, and deserved that win. It was a better realized film, highly stylized, innovative, well-acted, and yes, highly entertaining. But the fact it's a musical - and that it stars two women and its "lack" of exploring a topical issue and because it's not "serious" with a capital S has unfairly caused critics to deride it as a weak winner. I'm afraid this similar fate will befall La La Land, which is unfair. I mean, seriously, this movie is a diamond in the rough whilst films like The King's Speech and Argo are simply a dime a dozen. But hey, they're about conflicted men overcoming odds so at least it's IMPORTANT, right?

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I thought you were talking about American musicals only, but then I read Dancer in the Dark. If you're looking outside US, don't forget the wonderful original musicals by Christophe Honoré!

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal -- i should have clarified. I meant english language musicals.. I had to limit the topic somehow lest it be a impossible to research (and aside from Lagaan from India and Umbrellas of Cherbrough from France I was having trouble remembering any foreign musicals that had won Oscar nods.)

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Rahul -- oh and Rahul. I agree with you that LA LA LAND is being positioned to win awards and win box office attention for that reason. But that was not what I was pushing back against. I was pushing back against the notion that LA LA LAND is a common movie, safe, and middlebrow. It is not any of those things. It's a huge risk that only got made because Damien Chazelle's last movie was so well loved that the powers that be decided to back his dream project (that he had written before Whiplash)

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Eh, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling aren't a duo that can really get me fired up. Didn't like their scenes together in 'Crazy Stupid Love' (which was a crap film, but I digress). Love Gosling as a dramatic actor, though.

Emma Stone, like Jennifer Lawrence, is the It Girl we are supposed to be enchanted by because she's a fresh-faced movie star who is supposedly charismatic and funny. I don't know...I don't think charm is a hallmark of a great actor or a great film.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

There are a few other musical films nominated for Foreign Film: Le Bal (84) (no dialogue at all, just dancing), Carmen (83), El Amor Brujo (67), Los Tarantos (63) - these last three are all flamenco films (the Spanish sure seem to love 'em) and Mother India (57) isn't a musical, but it does have one number where all the singers and dancers form a map of India Busby Berkeley style!

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterken s

I loved Emma Stone in Birdman, though whenever she appears in a movie I think back to her "poor man's Janis Ian" in The House Bunny. Which I adored Anna Faris in (I adore Anna Faris in anything).

Did I just admit that I watched (and kind of liked) The House Bunny?

Is Dreamgirls the elephant in the room here? Are we all forgetting how slam-dunk its nomination was and how big the snub was? I'm talking Oprah in The Butler, Angelina in A Mighty Heart, Ben Affleck directing Argo etc...

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Love Gosling as a dramatic actor, though.

I think he's also proved to be a fine comedic actor. That said, you'll get quintuple-threat Gosling in La La Land: He sings*, he dances, he plays piano, he's comedic (some) and he's dramatic (more).

*although I wasn't pleased with the style of singing the film demands from its leads

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I thought Emma Stone was OK in her quiet scenes in Birdman and terrible during her shouting monologue...it sounded like a speech instead of verbalized thought. Not award-worthy by any means.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike, I completely agree with you re: Lawrence & Stone. if it comes down to a Huppert/Stone showdown for Best Actress, I sincerely hope reparations are made for poor Ms. Riva's oversight in 2013!

But I'm just hella salty because Emma Stone played a half-Asian in ALOHA, and as a Chinese person myself, I cannot forgive mistakes like that.

(and don't get me started on her bug-eyed shrill banshee screaming in that scene in BIRDMAN).

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

kermit: Of Dreamgirls eight nominations, four were in the three least important categories of the Oscars: VFX, Original Song and Costume Design. There are five or six movies, un-nominated for Best Picture that, based on other, more important, nomination cues, were probably ahead of it for that honour: United 93 (Director and Editing), Notes on a Scandal (Two acting nods + Writing), Children of Men (Writing and Editing), Pan's Labyrinth (Three Tech Wins + Writing), Little Children (Two acting nods + Writing) and Blood Diamond (Two acting nods + Writing). And here's the thing about Dreamgirls' acting: Of the four largest roles, the two singled out for Oscar noms absolutely deserved it. The other two, based on their performances in that specific film, wouldn't have been that unjustified showing up on the Razzie ballots.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I loved La La Land.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

My god, Rahul is the new 3/rtful - I never thought I'd see the day :D

That being said, praise be for the musical, for cinema that indulges us, for we need movies like this after the year we've had - that remind us that it is okay to dream and believe in them =)

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermorganb

I haven't seen the film yet (I'm seeing it tomorrow), but people who don't think Stone/Gosling are hot together ain't seeing movies correctly.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Thank you for this post Nathaniel and @DJDeeJay I agree *100 percent* with what you just wrote, the perceived femininity of the musical genre in general is irksome. Another example of this is how no one ever (critics at least, the predominantly straight and male) ascribes the musical moniker when discussing 'Nashville' (1975). That film is the clearest instance of 'Original Musical' and I'd bet that the bias toward musicals in general is what stops critics from describing it as such, because honestly I've never once heard that film described as a musical by any critic. It's almost as if they're afraid of 'feminizing' it. Can someone explain the critical bias towards anything perceived as feminine in general? I hope this doesn't come across as salty, it's just something I've noticed.
Also, I'd just like to add how richly UN-deserving Les Miserables is for all they hype and praise. Worst mainstream cinema experience of 2012 for me. It actually gave me a migraine.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Buffamonteezi

Yeah, I saw a headline that read "The Case Against La La Land" and I just about screamed. Despite the fact that the movie isn't even open yet and people are trying to convince us that people are WRONG about it, I just hate the idea of trying to sway us against an original musical. Like, there are so many more films that should be scorned if you absolutely must. I didn't read the piece, and for all I know it's a perfectly well-written piece of criticism, but with a headline like that I am just flipping birds.

I *love* when people who read Oscar websites talk about a filmmaker being desperate (or, in the case of Rahul, "thirsty") as if we all wouldn't be super psyched about the possibility of winning a freakin' Academy Award. But, then, I honestly didn't think anybody would prefer Teller and Watson, but there you go.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

kermit - yeah, I remember talk of Dreamgirls being majorly snubbed.

Mike - couldn't agree more...Emma Stone was waaay overrated in Birdman. It was like, "hey the Hollywood it Girl is in an awards player!!" and was praised for that reason alone. The fact that she was generally considered the runner-up to Patricia Arquette was scary. My fav supporting actress in Birdman was actually Naomi Watts. Don't get me wrong, I like Emma Stone, but the only time she's really impressed me was Easy A and comedic roles like that. When she does dramatic stuff, I feel like any other actress could've done the same, or better. We'll see how I feel about her in La La Land, but from the clips I've seen, I think I'll feel the same way. She always seems so mannered and calculated. Like she's performing in an acting class.

I actually wish Emma Watson had done this. That intrigues me much more.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Glenn - I always find that pretty hilarious as well, when the people saying that are the ones logging onto a blog every day to merely talk about the award...for free. lol

I've probably bemoaned someone in the past before as well for seeming desperate to win an Oscar, but I mean. Let's be real here, if I was in that position...

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

@Philip H. and Glenn, it broke my heart when this happened to Anne Hathaway a few years ago. It was as if how dare she have the *audacity* to want an Oscar, let alone talk about her role? The vitriol for her was as crazy at the time as it is in hind-sight.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Buffamonteezi

Amanda, happened to Kate Winslet too.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Can someone explain the critical bias towards anything perceived as feminine in general? I hope this doesn't come across as salty, it's just something I've noticed.

You're kidding, right? #patriarchy

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I think part of the backlash against La La Land that's been forming- and granted I have yet to see the film (though I will probably love it when I do)- is the perception that it being awarded is further evidence for the case of Hollywood's self-gratified nostalgia for itself.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAustin

Austin: That's also a very recent thing, with three of the last five winners being movies about movies. No movie about movies, in any way, had WON Best Picture before The Artist, however.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I don't think that's (entirely) it, Austin. If there's to be any backlash against La La Land--and that's a big if, since I wouldn't consider an aversion to musicals (hey, it exists) a backlash--it will have to do with the fact the protagonists are a struggling actress and a struggling musician, which might be a turn-off or who-gives-a-fuck for many people right now, given the state of things. And they're played by those two particular actors, as opposed to ones who like Harry Shum and Gina Rodriguez or any of the people who only get a moment to shine in the film's opening number.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I think part of the backlash to this film is political.

The natural tendency of the Oscars is that movies should be "Important" and have "a Message."And with Clinton losing to Trump the feeling that the winner should be Important and have a message is like ten times more among some people.

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterlIB

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