The Oscars 2018 ceremony is shaping up to be an explosively awkward affair, and could make for an interesting night for many different reasons.
In pole position for this year’s prize is ‘La La Land’, a film arriving as much-needed respite following the many shocks, horrors and uncertainties of 2016. ‘La La Land’ is a mug of hot chocolate after getting caught in a sleet storm. It’s a sincere homage to a bygone Hollywood era, and so there are certainly similarities to be drawn with another Oscar-winner – ‘The Artist’, but none favour the 2012 Best Picture winner. What undoes Michel Hazanavicius’ well-meaning ode to silent movies is its knowing winks, and a single line of illusion-cracking dialogue. ‘La La Land’ by contrast is a wholehearted and true resurrection of a long-forgotten form which pays tribute in all the right ways, but is contemporary also, making the genre work for modern audiences but never trampling its legacy.