La La Land (I) (2016)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Music


La La Land (2016) Poster

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.


8/10
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  • Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land (2016)
  • John Legend in La La Land (2016)
  • Emma Stone at an event for La La Land (2016)
  • Reshma Gajjar and Damian Gomez in La La Land (2016)
  • Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at an event for La La Land (2016)
  • Justin Paul and Benj Pasek at an event for La La Land (2016)

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20 March 2018 | proud_luddite
9
| The best movie of 2016
The main characters in this Los Angeles romantic musical are Mia (Emma Stone), a coffee-shop employee with dreams of being an actress; and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist who aspires to open his own club that plays jazz like it was played in the good old days.

At long last: a movie released during the 2016 awards season that actually lives up to the hype!

Early in the film, there are two superb group musical numbers. The numbers that follow are more low-key relating only to the main characters but they are still well performed and executed.

The stories of career struggle within the broader narrative are very believable. They include the hell of auditioning to people who are too busy plus the desire to maintain the purity of a great music genre (jazz) while too often being told it is "a dying art".

Gosling takes a while to break into the role particularly where the singing is concerned but it's not long before he fits into the part quite nicely. Stone is superb throughout the film. She is even spot-on as an actress giving mediocre auditions. She's given a full range - and not just as a triple threat - and she fully lives up to the expectations especially during the song "Audition" near the end.

There is something uniquely enjoyable about Hollywood portraying itself. The movie also gives nods to great classic musicals like "Singin' in the Rain", "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort", and "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" all the while being unique and standing out on its own. In addition, the set designs and photography add further to the film's greatness.

The reference to "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" comes through strongly in the movie's final number. This scene is probably the best scene of any movie in 2016. It leaves one with so many mixed emotions and extreme on either side. The production number is magnificent while its mood is melancholy.

The teaming of director/writer Damien Chazelle with musical composer Justin Hurwitz is one of the best matches since Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand in the 1960s.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS:

1) Directing by Damien Chazelle

2) Acting by Emma Stone

3) Music by Justin Hurwitz

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