I'm probably the last person on Planet Earth to review or simply converse about this film, which has stolen everyone's heart in this bleak time. Many people may question, what's the whole song and dance about, this film has received the most praise than any other in recent years emphasizing how our new age society are just longing for old Hollywood films to reer their head back into the industry.
As a Musicals fan they have taught me many things over the years, one thing being that I'm a romantic. They also showed me at a young age that some emotions in films are so powerful that it can't be put into mere words - it must be sung aloud and proud. After the opening scene, I knew I was in for something special, and over the course of two hours the picture takes you on a beautiful, whimsical, at times heartbreaking journey that provides exactly the kind of cinematic escapism and diversion that we are in desperate need of at this time. In recent years, pure joy is limited on the big screen and off, meaning that this film is so much more poignant and cherished from a universal audience. However, the best thing about this film personally as someone who is a die hard fan of the style of musicals that were last seen in the 1960's. It does pay homage to those classics without even directly mimicking them and still staying contemporary and new by maintaining an appeal for all ages.
In it's entirety, it's a beautiful film about love and dreams, and how the two impact each other. The city of Los Angeles that surrounds the story-line, is filled with dreamers and sometimes it takes a partner to make your dream come true. The two in question is Sebastian (Played by Gosling), a passionate jazz pianist with a wholehearted ambition to open a club of his home and defend his passion of jazz from extinction. His partner is Mia ( Played by Stone), a gifted aspiring actress who flits between terrible auditions and a coffee shop till on the Warner Bros Studio lot. After their chorus- like introduction, like any good musicals, the two have their false starts and playfully mock each other flaws in their first scenes. But we know what is to come and Gosling and Stone have the chemistry to make us long and possibly cheer for them to be together.
Most of the praise of the film is down to the leads Gosling and Stone, the pairing of them as a romantic couple is spot on and has already been established from the gangster mob film 'Gangster Squad' and the romantic comedy 'Crazy Stupid Love'. They have an immediate chemistry and charisma that exudes on screen and pours right into the heart of the cinema-goer. Their musical scenes are only embraced more by the pair not being the world's greatest dancers but are clearly having fun while they are doing it, making it more endearing and lovely to watch. Both of them also, adopt the star power and charm of actors that existed in that time. They are the definition of movie stars and are serious triple threats who are at the top of their game. They get these characters, finding grace in their movement and an unexpected emotional depth in their stories. I absolutely cannot imagine any other actors in the roles, they boast enough charisma to charm even the most cynical viewer into falling head over heels for their relationship.
Going into the film, the pressure was immense as the film had made Award history by winning every Golden Globe category it was nominated in, seven in total. The praise merely emphasizes that the film was foremost a collaborative effort that has thoroughly payed off. However, La La Land offers nothing particularity new or groundbreaking, but when something is done so brilliantly, excuted so perfectly, it can feel so refreshing and innovative which is what this film evokes. The opening sequence of the film gears you right into the euphoric nature of this film and takes you on a ride of color and modern day movie magic. Director, Damien Chazelle does fully embrace the corny nature of the romantic films in the 1960's, dancing among the stars etc.., and with the staging of cinemascope bringing a new light to the musical which many have tried to recapture.
Overall, this film had magic emanating from the screen, and as the minutes went past my smile grew wider after every musical number, and then it hit me that I didn't know how this film would end and most importantly I didn't want it to end. In these times, the world can get you down but I challenge anyone to not fall head over heels in love with this film and not be humming the song's on your way home from the cinema. La La land serves to remind us that movies can still be innovative and they channel us to also see the magic in the world around us. It's going to take something absolutely extraordinarye to knock this off the top of my list for the year.