LA LA LAND
Author’s note: let’s just address right here and now that I’m a romantic and I will therefore gush for the next few hundred words because this film was stunning. Okay, carry on
What a movie. What a cast. What a soundtrack. I know this may be a big call, but this is why I love and want to make movies
It so expertly captures the romance and utter magic of the films that it is inspired by. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe that Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire were gracing our screens again
From the brilliant director of Whiplash, It’s a film about two ‘dreamers’- Emma Stone is an aspiring actress and Ryan Gosling is a unemployed Jazz Pianist, and it tells the age old story of trying to make it in the big time
The story is a well known and incredibly relatable one but the twist of genre adds a bit of romance and movie magic to what is often a really trying (read: shitty) point in a artist’s career
Movie Musicals often toe a line of too many musical numbers and not enough dialogue to fully immerse yourself in the movie. A really good movie will feel real, to the extent that you zone out and forget you’re in a theatre with hundreds of strangers. As a film student, I find this really hard to do as I find myself either critiquing what has happened so far or am considering how they’ve filmed something
There was maybe one song more than I think would have felt completely natural, but as far as the genre goes, that’s an impressive feat.
Visually, La La Land was magical the whole way through and had my full attention (despite my trying to eat my Grill’d burger at the same time). Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are made for each other (apologies to their respective partners, but please bugger off). They glide across the screen with such grace, it’s hard to believe they are anything but musicians and dancers
I’m such a fan of the films La La Land tried to recreate, and it did it in a way that paid homage to the classics, but also gave a subtle nod to what today’s audiences are interested in. It was surprisingly funny- Gosling does his traditional schtick of being a bit of a grump (a handsome grump) and Stone is a downright joy (if you don’t already- you’ll leave wanting to be her BFF).
I think the ending was perfect (sorry Chels). I don’t want to give anything away, but it kind of proved that everything happens for a reason. As someone who’s often trying to find the greater meaning in things, it is sort of a relief to see how things later down the road can be for a greater purpose
(I’ve already said I’m a romantic, move on, I’m sappy)
Say what you will about love stories, you’re a Grinch if you don’t walk out of the cinema with a big ‘ol grin on your face