My candidate lost, and yes, I still can’t get over it. I speak of the 1997 movie “L.A. Confidential.” A riff on the creepy film-noir movies of the 1950s, its dark brilliance lay clouded in the bloated shadow of “Titanic.”
This year, another Los Angeles movie is doing a lot better. “La La Land,” a sunny musical romance, has amassed 14 Oscar nominations, tying “Titanic” and “All About Eve” (1950) for the record.
Movie critics have responded to “La La Land” with 50 shades of praise, ranging from total to grudging. What it and “Titanic” have in common are their bigness, striking special effects and pedestrian love stories.…