John, good observations. Re your last point and questions, as I’ve gone through the process of analyzing the script this week, I think there is an interesting distinction between Romance and Passion. Mia and Sebastian experience the former, and to a degree a kind of ‘love’, but really, as is underscored by the fantasy sequences, is more about Romance. Their Passion is more directed at their individual creative ambitions… and that is what wins out at the end of the day.
So no, Seb could not have gone to Paris. And yes, their lives together was a pipe dream. There is, in my view, an inevitability to their separation. They meet for a time and have a sweeping Romance. But their Passion for their respective artistic goals takes precedence.
I’ve read interviews with Chazelle in which he talks about the challenges of combining love and career, and that is a part of what’s going on in LLL. It’s an aspect of the film’s post-modern sensibilities, most obvious in the fact the couple does NOT end up together.
Thanks for your thoughts! I love the movie. The award-season backlash against it is ill-served and will, I believe, not stand up to the test of time. LLL may not end up being seen as a classic, but it’s an audacious movie with a simple story and nuanced dynamics in play.