La La Land: Film Review

La La Land

I was so excited seeing La La Land at the London Film Festival in October and I have now seen it twice. I am also contemplating going to the cinema to see it for a third time. I am so happy for its current awards season success because it deserves it so much. As you can probably tell, I love it!

Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) works a barista while going to endless, soul-destroying auditions to become an actress and one night, she is drawn to a restaurant by a piece of music played by Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist who has just been fired by his boss (J.K. Simmons) for not sticking to the Christmas-themed setlist. They embark on a romance… and that is all you need to know. It is best enjoyed not knowing everything about it.

I have always loved a musical and it’s rare to come across one which uses original music so this just made me so happy. It was joyful, a celebration of life, love and following your dreams but also not as cheesy as that all sounds – it doesn’t follow the sappy plot you’d expect and I like that it takes unexpected turns. I kept thinking “they don’t make movies like this any more” and they don’t which is a bloody shame because I would watch them any day. It is takes old Hollywood glamour and brings it right to the present day.

I read online that Miles Teller and Emma Watson were originally attached to this project and I’m sorry but I can’t imagine anybody other than Stone and Gosling in those parts – they have been in two films together previously, Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad, and it is clear they get along well. I have always fancied the pants off Gosling and it gets even worse here because we see him not only act but dance (his tap dancing is the best!), sing and play piano. Stone is just glorious to watch – she has these captivating big eyes and is the emotional centre of the story. She may not be as capable at singing or dancing as Gosling but she pulls an amazing performance out of the bag and I’m so glad she getting awards for it.

Damien Chazelle nailed it with Whiplash and he nails it again here. It is a musical but it’s not over-saturated with songs, it is more a romance drama with songs peppered in sparingly. It’s not too cheesy or sentimental, I found the drama to be very realistic and the dance and song numbers to be absolutely glorious, dreamy and beautifully choreographed. Some of the sets and shots were freaking gorgeous as well. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Originally seen as part of the 60th BFI London Film Festival.

In previews now – officially released on Friday 13th January

Comments

  1. Really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this! Have you written on any movie sites before? 🙂

    Samuel

  2. A good collection of thoughts! I too, was gripped by La La Land. Feel free to read my review, feedback would be much appreciated! https://theaspiringfilmcritic.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/la-la-land-2016-%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85/

Trackbacks

  1. […] miffed about how well La La Land is doing (it now ties for the most Oscar nominations ever) but I honestly loved it so I’m genuinely happy about this […]

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