From the Writer/Director of Whiplash, comes a romantic tale of two young souls trying to achieve their dreams in Los Angeles.
In a time when the only musicals released are those premiering on the Disney Channel, or live musicals on NBC, films like La La Land are a breath of fresh air. I have always found musicals enjoyable. Though current musicals are nothing like the ones from the 50s and 60s, I still find that use of music pleasing to my ears. Everything that Writer/Director Damian Chazelle has done in this film, is pure genius. Chazelle is a true visionary, combining both glorious aesthetic and a beautiful story into one film.
The story follows two romantics, both looking to achieve their life dreams of being successful in the competitive city of Los Angeles. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a Jazz pianist who is completely obsessed with that genre of music. Stuck in a bit of a rut, career wise, he hopes that one day he can open a Jazz club, and be able to play whatever types of music he wants. Gosling does an exceptional job as this character. There was no use of hand models for the piano scenes, because Gosling wanted to learn the pieces himself, practicing four hours a day for four months. Gosling’s charm oozes off screen as his loving nature sweeps Mia off her feet. But as much as I loved Gosling’s portrayal of this “starving artist”, Emma Stone steals the show.
Stone brings the best acting of her career in her portrayal of the young struggling actress, Mia. Forget Birdman, or any of the comedies that she’s previously starred in, Stone is a force to be reckoned with. Her acting in this film simply goes above and beyond what we’ve ever seen from her before. There was one scene in particular, when she unleashes a wave of emotion on the viewer, with such believability, I couldn’t help but cry. To be honest, there’s more than one scene when she does that, so just be ready.
What sets La La Land apart from the mediocre musicals? Though the visuals and music in this film are breathtaking, it’s the story that raises the bar for all other musicals that come hereafter. The film connects with younger generations of movie goers, but still pays homage to the classic films we’ve all loved. La La Land, in its Casablancaesque vibe, opens the door for viewers to once again fall in love with film.
La La Land
Written and Directed by: Damian Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone