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Oscar movies that inspire

La La Land and Moana prove to be groundbreaking, musically sound

Ashley Mandel, Staff Reporter

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La La Land

“La La Land,” a movie within a movie, a tale of a down on her luck actress Mia (Emma Stone) who falls for the smooth jazz stylings of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). One can appreciate Gosling playing all of his own piano stunts, a feat he mastered in three months in order to obtain the role. The show tunes and bold primary colors brought the viewer back to a time of nostalgia, blurring the lines between truth and fraud. The audience fell in love with these charismatic characters who although talented, were waiting for stardome. With so much emphasis on the music and character arch, some pivotal plot points were lacking in explanation. Though this can be forgiven, as combined with characters that inspire and insult, and a classic score by Justin Herwitz whose melodies awaken the dreamer in all of us, “La La Land” is a timeless film that can resonate with most. Title characters Mia and Sebastian soon learn they don’t live in a movie production and a happily ever after must be met with sacrifice. When Stone belts out “Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem,” for a moment, everyone in the audience is dreaming with them.

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Moana

Nominated for best animated feature, “Moana” is the adventures or misadventures of a headstrong young woman Moana (voiced by Auli’l Carvalho), who along with her demigod companion Maui (Dwayne Johnson aka the “Rock”) goes on a quest to save her island from evil forces. The journey tests both character’s strengths, revealing that although one’s destiny may be set, one must dig down deep in order to fulfil their true potential. Each peril that advances the duo’s journey brings forth a new layer and lesson learned for the characters and audience.“Moana” shows us a new brand of leader, one that looks beyond the obvious to find the potential in all whether they be a conceited demigod whose worthiness is based on their magic hook, or an evil goddess who has cursed the land. “Moana” is yet another movie that further enforces Disney’s campaign to star strong girls, and they have succeeded yet again in bringing us another unique, imperfect but brave princess no doubt inspiring young girls and all to prevail in the face of adversity, as that there is no telling how far you’ll go!

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The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School.
Oscar movies that inspire