Monday, February 13, 2017

Review of La La Land

The movie award season is upon us and this year the hot favourite to sweep the season is the feel-good musicial, La La Land. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land is director’s Damien Chazell’s follow-up to his 2014 film Whiplash and much like Whiplash, music played a big role in the movie.

Gosling’s Sebastian Wilder is a musical purist in LA who has just spent his last penny trying and failing to open a jazz club in the city. He meets Stone’s Mia Dolan and the movie is about how the duo chased their dreams amidst setback after setback. Back by strong performances from the two leads, smart direction from Chazall, and good songs; La La Land is one of those strange movie that managed to be both a great romantic comedy and a wonderful drama.

In short, it is great!

It is an exceptional film that pays homage to classic musicals while making it’s mark on the genre. Some people are already calling the movie a classic; I won’t go that far but I can see why they would say so. La La Land is an endearing film that you could watch endless times without getting tired of. Director Damien Chazell had a clear vision for the movie and he implemented it beautifully.

In this, he is helped ably by Gosling and Stone who gave it their all in their performances. The two leads are not natural singers or dancers and that, strangely, played well in the movie. Emma Stone was especially good in this movie and I would be shocked if she didn’t win Best Actress at the Oscars. Honestly I never thought much of her as an actress before La La Land. She’s cute and commendable but I never thought of her as a great actress. I do now. 

I also have to give pops to the ending of this movie. All I can say is “WOW”! The bittersweet ending was just perfect. It shows the cost the two leads made to make their fantasies happen, yet at the same time, it was not a downer but a celebration. Yes, there are scenes of what-could-have-been and they were beautiful in themselves, but in the end these two made it and they were not going to give up their success for anything.   

La La Land is nominated for a record-tying fourteen Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards. I’m pretty sure it won’t win that many but after watching the movie I can understand why they got so many nominations. It is just one hell of a movie. Watch it!  

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