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‘La La Land’ on HBO: A Takedown Of Toxic Masculinity Hiding Beneath Classic Hollywood Razzle-Dazzle

La La Land, the almost Oscar-winning movie musical from writer-director Damien Chazelle, isn’t just a film paying homage to Old Hollywood and bright-eyed California dreaming, or an exercise designed to highlight the pointed banter of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It is all of those things, yes, but it is mostly, and most cleverly, a feminist critique of classic leading-man foolishness—a takedown of toxic masculinity hiding between Los Angeles landmarks, freeway traffic, and razzle-dazzle choreography: