Review: 5 stars
Genre: Romance, Musical
Director and screenplay by: Damien Chazelle
Music by: Justin Hurwitz
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend …
Summary: Mia is an aspiring actress who works in a coffee shop at Warner Bros with the dream of becoming famous. Sebastian is a jazz musician with the dream of opening his own club to restore the love for traditional jazz within the people. The two fall in love but their relationship fills with problems when both try to pursue their big dreams.
Opinion: Get ready to come on board on a journey where everything is possible, because La La Land is the movie for all those who dream big. The film is magnificent in every way and a beautiful celebration of the musicals golden age. There are so many compliments for this film that I honestly don’t know where to start. Should I start this review talking about the lovely songs, or maybe worshipping the prodigious Damien Chazelle. Anyway, I should start organizing my thoughts and thus proceed with this review.
Damien Chazelle’s dream took a total of six years to become true. With only 31 years old, the talent of this great mind behind the acclaimed “Whiplash”, makes anyone envious. In the hope of receiving a “yes” in the midst of so many refusals, this director and screenplay writer finally got what he really wanted, to produce a film in which people danced in a starry sky. Wait for February 26 Chazelle , because it will be your day to win the “Best Director” award and also several gains in other categories for this same film.
The biggest Golden Globe winner of all times takes place in Los Angeles, the famous “La La Land”, from a point of view unlike anything ever seen onscreen. Scenery and costumes become alive with the colourful palette and luminosity presented in each scene. It is just as pleasing to the eyes as the Willy Wonka factory is.
In addition to being visually dreamy it is also brilliantly filmed, with very few cuts that give the viewers the sensation they are witnessing everything that is going on as if they were inside the big screen. This leads me to the musical numbers, in which each was sung and danced in only one take without mistakes. Isn’t this fenomenal!
Even though the musicals world was left behind on the second half of this feature, it ends up being favorable to the public who isn’t into musicals, because unlike “Les Miserables” of 2012, this movie is not entirely a musical.
La La Land may not be fully loaded with musical numbers, but music is always present in it, mostly jazz. After all, one of the protagonists (Sebastian) is a musician that loves this genre. And to complement everything I previously said, the soundtrack of the film is completely original, beautifully written and with splendid arrangements. Definitely the highlight of its soundtrack is the song “City of Stars”, sung more than once in the film by Ryan Gosling. Its melody is so sweet and addictive that I have no doubt that you won’t get it of your head for a while.
The performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are perfectly presented. Emma Stone plays Mia with grace, strength and passion. While, Gosling plays Sebastian with charisma, a bit of seriousness, and heart. The two are a believable couple, and this is their third film together. Although both have been outstanding in their characters, Ryan Gosling’s performance impressed me the most because the way he played the piano is so profound that it moves the audience and everyone feels Sebastian entering his own world as he presses each key. It is hard to believe he learned to play the instrument only three months before shooting.
Both do not have spectacular voices, only well tuned, but this was also intended by Chazelle, for he aimed on creating characters who weren’t prepared to sing and dance but only did so. This creates a realistic atmosphere that was not followed in the musical classics. This same effect is generated in the film’s story that even though it is a cliché romance, presents problems that all real life couples face because of their careers. The ending is also not at all similar to the ones in the musicals golden era, which makes the movie far from a copy of the old classics. Instead of a “happily ever after”, viewers examine what happened in the future of the characters’ lives and at the same time receive a hint of sadness in their hearts.
Altogether, La La Land is not just a celebration of classics such as “Singing in the Rain” or “Rebel Without a Cause”, it is an addition to the collection of these masterpieces. Extremely well executed, aesthetically pleasant, dreamy with a dash of realism, optimistic, with astounding performances and a memorable soundtrack. This is the movie that will be in the hearts of current and future audiences.
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