La La Land stars Emma Stone as an aspiring actress and Ryan Gosling as a jazz musician. The two meet in Los Angeles and struggle to achieve their dreams as well as to maintain a healthy relationship. In this modern-day musical, love, dreams and music go hand in hand. La La Land is truly a love letter to all of the creatives and to all of the dreamers.
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), La La Land is an extremely captivating film. The camera work and direction is brilliant; every scene seems to melt into the next. The backdrop for many of the big scenes is warm and bright, which complement the story well. Even when darker notes emerge there is always something lighter that catches the eye. From the very opening scene, I found myself hooked on the look of this movie alone.
The music is very well done and every song seems to organically go with the dialogue and mood of each scene. In fact, music is so present throughout that it begins to feel like its own character. In that way, I was reminded of John Carney’s Begin Again, which also features music in a way that is central to the story.
As Mia and Sebastian, Emma Stone (The Help, The Amazing Spider Man) and Ryan Gosling (The Big Short, The Nice Guys) are magical. I think that these roles show their versatility and talent beyond what we have seen from each of them previously. They shared a great on-screen chemistry and came across as so relatable that I found myself rooting for their relationship and hoping it would work. They also aren’t bad at singing and dancing!
Even though this is a modern-day story, there were many times when I simply forgot what year it was. I think this is due to a combination of the costuming and the flow of the story- it definitely harkens back to yesteryear films like Singing in the Rain and Guys and Dolls. For a film to be able to do that in this time of big blockbuster reboots was really impressive.
I think that La La Land is a beautiful film. It is well-shot, tells an original story and features a talented and capable cast. For all of the dreamers and creators it’s a perfect match!
La Land recently dominated at the Golden Globes, taking home much coveted awards like: Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, Best Actor-Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling), and Best Actress-Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone). It is currently in theaters and I suggest you check it out! 🙂