LaLa Land and Moonlight
Lala Land and Moonlight. Right. So here are my worthless opinions about it.
When I watched Lala land in the theaters I wasn’t too excited to start off with. For a while now I have made sure to surround myself with media that I felt was important or that would help me grow. This is important to me.
Now this is what I mean by ‘help me grow’. All of my childhood, until about middle school I was raised by a very homophobic mother. The movies and shows I watched were ‘clean’ and white and as straight as straight could get. And although I am not a white person myself my mother (probably out of the need to fit in considering we were the only Hispanic people where we lived at the time) always made me feel like I needed to be more ‘white’. This affected my life in many ways of course but it also affected the way I consumed media and therefore affected the way I interacted with life and the people in it. I eventually came to realize that the media I consumed directly interacted with the way I view the world. I realized that media is important.
So sitting in the theater waiting for Lala land to begin I already had some problems with it. I knew that it was about two straight people; one is a struggling actress and one is a struggling jazz musician. Two white people. That was what I was kind of iffy on. I have seen the stories of white people my whole life, everyone has. It is not new. It is not special. Now this wouldn’t have bothered me so much had the chance to make these characters non-white been so easy. Like come on the struggling actress could have been Asian, Latina, Middle Eastern. She could have been a person who is rarely ever seen on the big screen making the whole struggling actress thing have a bit more depth to it. And the guy? He was a Jazz musician, he could have easily been black, and yet. And yet.
So okay whatever I wasn’t too excited to see this movie. Then the movie starts and-
It was good. It was a really good movie. The filming, the acting, the story line, the weird ending, so many parts of it were good. But I still couldn’t understand the hype. In the end it was just another movie about another straight white couple and on top of that the singing was terrible (like come on it’s a freakin’ musical).
And then I saw Moonlight. Moonlight was a movie unlike I had ever seen before. Not because of the filming or the music or what not. It was because of the story and the people in it. When I sat down to watch Moonlight I had sat down to see a movie I had never seen before. Unlike Lala Land, which seemed to almost want to be a configuration of the old this, this was new.
Before me I saw the story of a black gay man being humanized, something that doesn’t happen much in our media today. Actually something that barely happens at all in the US.
When it was over I sat there calm, the air was still.
Lala Land was a good film.
Moonlight was history in the making.
So my worthless opinion on Lala Land? It was a good film and deserved awards yes. But not when the awards mean so much socially. Not when them winning awards buries better movies underneath.
So when that honestly fucking hilarious mix up happened and it turned out that Moonlight won?
I was not disappointed. Not at all.
Moonlight is exactly the kind of film that changed me, that made me grow. And I think it winning- I feel like that made us all grow. This is the kind of media that changes outlooks on the world. This is the kind of media that is important.
Moonlight is so important.
Oh sorry, correction- Best Film of the Year Moonlight, is so important.