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Hollywood: the most painful climb

Hollywood, by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, is a great way to be teleported to a time that comes way before you, but making you believe you know it.

We are in the 1940’s and the American Dream is taking shape, the cinema industry is full of promises and digs its way after a solemn change from mute films to the ones we know today. Everything seems to progress, but as we go through the episodes, we discover that what is simple never progresses: dark skin is an indicator of inferiority, what matters is appearance and keeping your dignity. This means being in a straight marriage, behaving as it should and try not to look bad, with the press, with the people, with relatives and with strangers. Thus, a society so composed yet so broken down, transgressive, super rich or super poor, in which living with courage means living a simple life, being able to survive uncontaminated.

This seemingly perfect and qualitative life gets lost when it comes to the sole destiny of human beings: being free. Instead of oppressing their primordial instincts, they pursue love – often extramarital –, satisfy their sexual gratification on the sly, reinvent professions and create unlawful meeting places, which happen to be unlawful only because someone said so. In the end, the ones who dare to dream are either doomed or they make it to success in some way, very often through a rough and immoral path.

That is what happens to our favourite aspiring actor, Jack Castello, good-looking lad who has had no one believing in him, who wants to show everyone, and mostly himself, that he is capable of becoming big, because the bare survival does not interest him. He does that at the expense of whomever is at his side, putting all his effort into creating his path and making money for his poor family, initially even going against his dream and his own values. Jack demonstrate that the climb to Hollywood is in small part talent, in small part acquaintances and a big piece of luck, in fact his job as a gigolo at the gas station turns out to be his launching pad for a future brilliant career as an actor.

Together with him, Murphy sets for us the heart-breaking image of a group of dreamers who walk undeterred in the heavy rain of rejection dictated by a racist, homophobic and misogynistic society that makes them want to give up more and more. Avis Amberg, a woman who has lived in the shadow of her husband, owner of Ace Studios, gets a taste of power while he is a coma and then succeeds in conquering this success proving with facts that change is hard, unconventional, dangerous and absolutely necessary. Camille Washington, black girl in a white world, grows up with the desire of seeing in television someone who looks like her and ends up having to become her own example, winning an Oscar as best actress. Archie Coleman and Roy Fitzgerald, interracial and homosexual couple, become respectively successful writer and actor, showing how no fear of change is so big that they cannot hold hands and kiss in front of the whole country.

The complexity and uniqueness of the characters glow during the whole of the story, which until the end does not cease to amaze us, presenting a manipulative and sexist manager repent and change, a man with a repressed homosexuality find love and the ones who lost hope find it again.

Hollywood makes us want to go back and watch the speeches at the Oscar’s, to discern the pain and the suffering and the hard work of actors, the truthfulness of the gratitude and the necessity of the relationships that were born off-camera. A difficult Hollywood, where you have to do your best and everything in your power to reach the top, a part from being yourself. In a backward world full of presumption, in the end who dreams is the winner.

Articolo a cura di: Bianca Petrucci

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