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.