During summer, Wellspring strives to watch films in Jesus’ name, ie. as Christians seeking to be entertained but also educated in what values drive our culture. We believe the complete Christ is at the end of whatever incomplete story our movies tell, and that it is the Christian’s task to take people from what they do know to Someone they don’t (like Paul did in Acts 17:16-34). For 5 Sundays, we focus on a different movie, unpacking its themes and messages in light of Scripture. You’re encouraged to go deeper with this week’s film with the Reflection and Questions below.
“La La Land” has our feet tapping, hearts pounding, and voices raised barracking for the lovestruck couple, Mia & Seb. But underneath the glitz and glam of this film’s soundtrack, there’s a serious message told about the artist’s audience and getting your happy ending. Mia & Seb play to that ‘someone in the crowd’, even if it makes them miserable; which is what art without God can do, since it’s worship of creation rather than Creator. What do they really want? It’s hard to know, and by the end of the film it’s harder to know if they got it. The Christian worldview argues our hearts deceive, which is why we need Jesus to captivate us and reshuffle what we really want.
- How did you handle the ‘fantasy’ element of this film? Eg. the first scene of the musical number whilst stuck in traffic: did it help you escape or was it annoying?
- “It is better to be true to yourself, not compromise, and fail, than to compromise your integrity and succeed.” Discuss in relation to Mia & Seb’s career trajectories.
- Read Jeremiah 17:5-11. What evidence is there in your own life of a “deceitful, incurable heart”? How does verse 10 make you feel?
- What is your current understanding of the place of art in the life of a Christian and in the life of the Church?
- Read Romans 7:21-25. How does the person and work of Jesus Christ bring about our “rescue” from “wretchedness” and “death”?