Hello, fellow moviegoers!
La La Land is directed by Damien Chazelle, and it stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It tells the story of two people, one a jazz pianist, the other an aspiring actress. The two keep running into each other, and eventually they start dating. This film explores that relationship, as well as their careers in Hollywood just trying to make a living doing what they love. Oh, and it’s a musical, so there’s that too.
I knew that I had to see this film before I made my Top Ten of the Year list (which will be coming out later this week). I had heard that it was really good, and I was a big fan of Chazelle’s 2014 film Whiplash. I was really looking forward to this film, and I can honestly say that it is everything I wanted it to be, and more. Much more.
Let’s start with the obvious thing. La La Land is a musical. However, it’s not a musical in the way you might expect. It’s not like most musicals where it’s extremely obvious that it was made to be a musical. This film doesn’t feel like a guy sitting in a room thinking “I’m going to write a musical. It’ll have this many songs, and this is where they will be”. No, La La Land gives the vibe that while it was being written Chazelle thought “Hey, a song would work well here”. All of the music naturally fit into the film, and it wasn’t distracting at all. Not once did I catch myself thinking “Oh, they’re singing now.” Every time a song would start to be sung, it was such a seamless transition. It never felt sudden or abrupt.
About the actual songs and music in the film, they were fantastic! They were all so catchy that you actually might go out of your way to listen to them outside of the theater. For example, I am actually listening to the soundtrack while writing this review. All of the songs are so different from each other, and they are so elegant yet fun. The main song that plays between these two characters was absolutely beautiful. It’s a recurring tune throughout the film, and every time it played, I couldn’t help but smile. Justin Hurwitz did the music for the film, and he will be winning an Oscar for it. There is no doubt about that.
The two main characters in the film were the kind that you can’t get enough of. When this film came to a close, I found myself thinking that I could’ve easily spent two more hours with those characters alone. They were both such interesting and in-depth people individually, and every second they were on screen I couldn’t get enough of them. When they were together, that joy of being with them is increased exponentially. This jubilation is only heightened by the powerhouse performances given by both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They were both perfectly cast in their roles, and they will without a doubt be nominated for Oscars for this film. I wouldn’t doubt them winning either. They both carried this film magnificently.
One thing that stood out to me was the dialogue, or rather lack thereof. There are times in this film where it feels like you haven’t heard a line of dialogue in ten minutes. It was just music and watching these events and characters on screen. This technique was used brilliantly! The audience learns just as much about these characters through these scenes as they do when they are actually having a conversation! It’s a technique that I’m sure has been used before, but it worked wonders in this film. It only added to the overall sense of awe that this film creates.
There are a lot of different themes that become evident throughout this film. Beyond the surface theme of love, there is so much more to unpack in this film. There are themes about doing what you love no matter what happens, there are themes about not pandering to audiences and tons more. I cannot wait to see this film again, and again to see what else there is to uncover.
Finally, I want to talk briefly about the ending (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything). I loved the ending to this film so much! It went a direction that I was not expecting, but it fit the overall feel of the film extremely well. It was handled amazingly! It was so fitting when considering what events had happened throughout the film. It leaves you feeling happy for the characters, but you’re also sad for reasons I won’t give away.
La La Land wasn't just an amazing film, it was an experience. It was a love letter to classic Hollywood, but it also had a modern feel to it. The music by Justin Hurwitz was elegant, and the grand musical numbers feel natural to the plot. The characters were extremely realistic and believable, and they were only heightened by Gosling and Stone’s performances. All of this was tied together by the flawless directing by Damien Chazelle. I loved La La Land! I’m glad I saw this film before I made my Top Ten List because it might just be at the top of it. I’m always apprehensive to give these out because so many people do it so frequently, but there’s no doubt about it. La La Land was perfect!
So what did you think of La La Land? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Check back later this week to see my Top Ten Films of 2016!
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