Lee Ann Womack’s Video For “Hollywood” Is Cinematic Genius

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There are a lot of one-word descriptions you can give Lee Ann Womack: talented, beautiful, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, warm, funny. But if you don’t have “fearless” on your list, you might add it after seeing the new music video for her song “Hollywood.”

Although Lee Ann’s lonesome voice remains the absolute star of the video, the physical “stars” of “Hollywood” are plastic Barbie-esque figurines. Much like the lyrics of the song, which tells the tale of a lopsided love affair where one apprehensively seeks the truth and the other wallows in ambivalence, the plastic models are void of emotion other than the blank stare expected. Those frozen expressions in their manufactured perfection only further drive home lines like, “Every time I ask you, you just say we’re good. Either I’m a fool for asking, or you belong in Hollywood.

Using stop-motion filming and an apparent green screen to create an almost dioramic world, the couple cruise past Hollywood landmarks during the day and return to hotels at night where they share a room, but rarely share a bed. And even though their gaze remains vacant, the implied loss of intimacy created by clever set-ups and a well-crafted lyric creates a palpable ache and reinforces that both the figures and the emotion are artificial.

Directed by Chris Ullens, Lee Ann supplied more than just the music for the love-gone-wrong story. In an interview with Refinery 29, she reveals that she was also the wardrobe designer. “I made some of the clothes the dolls wore—the black dress with the puffy sleeves and a pair of shorts with a white t-shirt,” she says. “I literally was sitting in a hotel room making those little clothes.”

“Hollywood” is the second single from Lee Ann’s critically acclaimed and Grammy-Nominated album, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone.