La La Land – Part 1, 2016

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Starring:  Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt


Read Part 2 here.

La La Land may just be my favourite film of all time. No jokes, no sarcasm, this movie rocked me to my core.

La La Land is a musical directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, telling a love story about following your dreams set in the modern world but in the partial style of Broadway in the 30’s and 40’s. I say partial because it has far far more to offer; a more accurate way of describing it would be to say that it’s a love letter to all performing arts, encouraging the love of music and art and leading a life worth living. It does this by fusing the old-fashioned styles of song and dance with the endless possibilities of modern film-making, making for absolutely fantastic musical numbers. They will sweep you off your feet. The original music is all great, it’s fun, it’s moving, and Chazelle knows exactly how to hook you into the story with just a melody. All his films incorporate music in some regard, so it was a natural progression that he did a musical. It just so happens he made the best ever movie-musical in doing so.

Beyond the musical numbers, the whole film is solid in its beautiful cinematography, constantly making allusions to classic cinema, while maintaining its own distinct style. There are a lot of long running shots and the smooth movement of the camera through the action is just breathtaking really, and puts on display the talent being thrown around by the performers. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both melt into their characters and give great performances, and their on screen chemistry is phenomenal. Their singing voices are both good, but not great. This is intentional and never distracting, as it actually has the effect of making them and their performances seem more real, they’re not distractingly perfect (if that makes sense). Gosling also had to learn piano for this role, and he did a fantastic job of being convincing as a music lover.

I want to gush and gush about La La Land and I might even one day write a more in depth analysis, but I think it’s more important to just get the message out for everyone to please see this movie. I saw it in an advance screening, but its full release is on Boxing Day. I cannot recommend it highly enough, I’ve had a smile on my face ever since I left the theatre.

I don’t normally do ratings, but La La Land is a 10/10 for sure.


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