6. It Harkens back to Old Hollywood
In their acceptance speeches, both Stone and Chazelle thanked the producers of “La La Land” for taking a risk by investing in this film. Chazelle in particular noted that it took six years for production to start rolling.
It is very true that musicals are not as common as they were during the Golden Age of Hollywood. That is not to say that they are extinct as we still get a bombastic feature every other year or so. But what made “La La Land” stand out from even that limited crowd was its throwbacks to classic Hollywood musicals.
It took the lavish costumes from “42nd Street”, the over-the-top expensive song numbers of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and the well-choreographed dance numbers from the best of Rogers and Astaire, to a create a nostalgic experience that was just modernized enough to not alienate modern-day crowds.
In addition to this, it is worth noting that two other extravagant musicals, “Moulin Rouge!” and “Chicago,” took home Oscar gold (the latter Best Picture).
7. The Music
Music may seem like an odd category to add as a reason for “La La Land” winning Best Picture given that the Oscars are not the Grammies or any other music-based awards show, but tying into the fact that musicals have always been well-received by the film critics’ community is something larger: the filmgoing experience.
The best movies almost always have excellent scores to accompany them as sound plays an integral part in cementing the experience of watching something. This is why many composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer have acquired fame in their own right, because audiences have caught onto the fact that their music is as iconic as the movie it played alongside.
And this is what gives “La La Land” an edge over the other predicted nominees. Films like “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea” are acclaimed for their storytelling, but “La La Land” is the only nominee that has that factor in addition to being revered for its songs. Musicals live and die by their soundtrack, and “La La Land” luckily fell under the former.
8. It’s a Love Story
Let’s face it, people are suckers for love stories, and the Academy is no different. “Gone with the Wind” stands as the hallmark of this, but many others, in particular romantic musicals, have followed suit including: “Gigi”, “The Apartment”, “My Fair Lady”, “The Sound of Music”, “Annie Hall”, and the controversial “Out of Africa.”
This is not meant to ignore the bastion of other genres that have won Best Picture, but combined with everything else it is not hard to see that the odds lie in “La La Land’s” favor.
9. It’s Relatable to Members of the Academy
Hollywood has gained an unfortunate reputation for being filled with elitists that promote favoritism and nepotism amongst their ranks, and while that is true in several cases, the truth is a lot of aspiring actors and directors invest years of their life drifting between pointless gigs and jobs before they land that one big role.
“La La Land’s” script, while funny at times, was at its core the tale of two people trying to break into the industry despite many obstacles in their path. It was very relatable to any actor who had gone through a similar process, and likewise the Academy is made up of a lot of those talented individuals. This is one aspect “La La Land” has that the other presumptive nominees do not.
10. It Has No Politics Behind It
The Academy has gained controversy in the past for either ignoring more politically-charged movies, or snubbing them in the actual ceremony. “Do the Right Thing,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Beasts of No Nation,” and “Nightcrawler” standout as prominent examples.
The sad thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the other potential selections for the Best Picture category have some degree of baggage attached to them. “Moonlight” deals with tense subjects like drug abuse, homophobia, and racism; “Hacksaw Ridge” was directed by Mel Gibson, who continues to remain a subject of scrutiny in Hollywood; “Manchester by the Sea” follows suicide, depression, and abandonment in a small town, and so forth.
To clarify, this is not meant to be a jab against any of those motion pictures, all of which were phenomenal and equally-deserving of the golden trophy. But it is worth keeping in mind the general trend of the Oscars based on objective analyses their past voting behavior.
Author Bio: Red Stewart is big fan of the entertainment industry, with insights into film, television, and video games for starters. Despite growing up in the 21st century’s era of modernization, he prefers many retro era ideas over the current trends found in many of today’s media. Personally he’s an introvert who loves reading as much as gaming.