“La La Land” stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, and Rosemarie DeWitt. Released on December 9, 2016, the film follows the relationship between a musician and an aspiring actress.
The film is directed by Damien Chazelle, who also directed Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and Whiplash. If you’re wondering why it took me so long to see this film, blame the fact that my closest cinema is still showing Rogue One and Sing on multiple screens. There were plenty of reasons why I was looking forward to this film. The first reason was the amount of praise it’s been getting from critics (it won eight Critics’ Choice Awards and earned seven Golden Globe nominations). The second reason was the film’s director. I saw his last film, Whiplash, two years ago, and I really appreciated his brilliant and eye-catching vision. After finally watching it for the first time, I’m starting to appreciate his vision even more. Yeah, it’s that good.
The film follows the basic boy-meets-girl love story, but it is told in the most unique way possible. I was actually watching these two people trying to accomplish their dreams, but those darn obstacles kept getting in their way. What made it so refreshing was the fact that it’s also a musical. A very charming musical, to be exact. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were marvelous together as the fools who dream (sorry, can’t help myself). Their acting was great, their singing was great, everything about them has “great” written all over it. The cinematography and the editing worked extraordinary well together to make the experience as dazzling as a Broadway musical. Speaking of dazzling, the whole film knows how to blend storytelling with its gorgeous backgrounds. I’m not kidding, they look amazing, especially the scene where Gosling and Stone danced in the Griffith Observatory. The musical numbers were very fun to listen to, including the opening sequence. There were a couple of scenes that felt a bit slow, in my opinion, but they weren’t enough to ruin a movie that’s just as charming as the two main characters on screen.
Overall, with its amazing performances, great musical numbers, Chazelle’s remarkable direction, and its unique combination of charm and gorgeous scenery, “La La Land” hits the right notes. If I managed to see this film before I started my top ten list of 2016, I would put it somewhere in the top five. It’s just too charming and beautiful to be anywhere outside of that section. If you love musicals and Chazelle’s last film, Whiplash, you’ll love this film. Here’s to the fools who dream and to those who made their dreams come true.