I was going to see West Side Story, and I had a bit of time earlier in the day, so I thought I might put on La La Land to see how it’s aged.
Always, around, the posters, the crowd, in the background. When Emma Stone goes into the restaurant, she slips through time slightly, caught by a melody. Potent icon of a lost time, attractive to romantics, the jazz piano solo. Trying to escape the grind, or be successful at creating a kind of special creation, having the cake and eating it.
In Magnolia, abusers are forgiven their crimes by frogs falling from the sky. This means that it answers its own question about the coincidence or not of events with a resounding dollop of ‘everything is chaos’. Or it must be a sort of redemption story, having this Christian vibe. But who is redeemed? We are given reasons for some of the abusers’ behaviour, but that doesn’t constitute a redemption. Breaking down in tears is not a redemption, nor is a phone call. Dying is not a redemption, nor is admitting to wrongdoing. Redemption is the hard work that comes after the realisation of wrongdoing, and the apology.