Sacrificial Offerings in Man By The Sea and La La Land Alex Denton

My blog this evening is inspired by Kelly’s blog from yesterday regarding Manchester By the Sea and La La Land. Kelly brought up a lot of really cool/interesting points in comparing the two which led me to think about overarching similarities between these two drastically different pictures. I found myself thinking about the idea of sacrifice. Although they could not be any more different stylistically, both of these movies address the idea of sacrifice. In LLL, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling struggle with who’s career to sacrifice to indulge the others’ dream. MBTS follows Casey Affleck’s internal struggle with whether to sacrifice his life in Boston to raise his teenage nephew in Manchester.

In both of these films, no characters actually make any type of sacrifice. In LLL, both Stone and Gosling choose to pursue their careers at the expense of their relationship. Although their love is lost, neither sacrifice their professional goals. In MBTS, Affleck comes to to terms with the fact that there are some things people cannot come back from — one of them being accidentally killing their families in a fire. Affleck throws himself in seudo-jail by living in a tiny basement apt, and won’t give it up when the opportunity presents itself. Affleck won’t sacrifice the penance he believes he deserves by starting a new with his nephew.

What does this tell us? Well obviously that life is complicated and that there are many way to approach it — but also that sometimes in life, getting what you want/doing what you believe you ought to isn’t worth any type of sacrifice. screen-shot-2015-05-01-at-10-31-52-am.png

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3 Responses to Sacrificial Offerings in Man By The Sea and La La Land Alex Denton

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I think La La Land definitely does touch on the subject of sacrifice in some aspects. For me, the movie really focused on the idea of timing in our lives and the drastic outcomes that result from our everyday decisions. The most powerful part of the movie for me was at the end when Emma Stone is watching Ryan Gosling play piano on stage at his club and the audience is given an extensive flashback (flashforward?) of what their relationship could have been like if they had done things differently. If we dwell on what could have happened in our lives instead of our current situations, we would experience so much pain, loss and regret. It broke my heart watching that scene, but I had to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. Timing is a crazy, strange and mind-boggling concept.

  2. marymdalton says:

    Love your concluding thoughts… My advice: always listen to your heart.

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