La la land hits all the right notes
February 3, 2017
Up until a few hours before I even saw the film I had heard very little about La La Land. Various news articles on my Facebook feed and Twitter timeline praised the movie and everything it had to offer. I wasn’t impressed. The thought of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a movie together made me assume the movie was just a generic rom-com cash grab. I was very wrong.
The movie is a musical, which I also didn’t know before I sat down in the theater to watch it. Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised by the opening musical number. On the surface, the plot of this movie seemed pretty straight forward: a romantic musical with a happy ending. I was also wrong here.
Emma Stone’s character Mia is an aspiring actress. In between her shifts as a barista on the lots of Hollywood, Mia goes to every audition she can, but she just can’t catch a break. Ryan Gosling’s character Sebastian is a top-tier jazz pianist, trying to find his calling in the music industry. Mia and Sebastian meet and fall in love, despite their differing lifestyles.
Without giving away more of the plot, the film is a work of art. Director Damien Chazelle already had a good track record with his film Whiplash, one of my all-time favorite films. The movie is filmed in cinemascope, paying tribute to films from the ‘50s and ‘60s, which the film has strong vibes from as well.
The music stands on its own as a beautiful soundtrack. I found myself listening to it on the way home because the songs were so catchy. The music is jazz-influenced, and you just can’t help but snap your fingers or tap your feet when you listen to each and every song. The Gosling and Stone duet “City of Stars” brings a very Sinatra-esque vibe. “Mia and Sebastian’s Theme” is a simple piano piece that will rip into your emotions during the film.
Overall, La La Land was a very pleasant surprise and right now it’s 2017’s best movie. The film has received 14 Academy Award nominations and I think it deserves every single one. If you ever have the opportunity to see this film, do not hesitate.
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