Very few movies can stand up to the hype that surrounds it come awards season. La La Land manages to do this and more.
To be completely honest, my love of musicals may have rendered me slightly biased. I love the magic of a love story set against singing and dancing, and I love the power these films have to transform you, leaving you wanting to get up and join in.
Very few films are able to achieve this nowadays – do you remember the first time you watched, for example, Singing in the Rain? Do you remember when last you fell in love with lead actor and actress, as they tap-danced their way across the screen?
From the moment the movie opens up with its shot in CinemaScope message– a format most commonly used for films of the 1950s, you remember. And as you watch the opening number play out on the screen you can’t help but do so with a smile on your face.
As far as the plot goes – the film centres around Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician who are both trying to live out their dreams in Hollywood, a city known for either making or breaking individuals.
The movie itself is charming and vibrant – the colours are rich and satisfying – and the chemistry between the leads is undeniable – this is not their first outing together, and you can’t help but be swept up in the romance of it all. Sure, there may have been better singers and dancers who could’ve performed the roles, but Stone and Gosling have so much charisma and are so good together, you’re willing to overlook this.
La La Land is witty and absolutely beautiful to watch and sweeps you up with its dance numbers easily. It manages to balance being a homage to these films and stir up the nostalgia of the old-school glamourous Hollywood films, while still being a classic in its own right, rather than taking the easy route and virtually remaking a classic film (as seems to be the latest trend).
The film manages to remind you of the glamour and music of days gone by, with its romanticism and dance numbers, while being placed firmly in the present, with this portrayal (though slightly rosily tinted for the screen) of the struggles of being an artist trying to get their big break in an industry filled with hundreds of others trying to do the same.
Not to give too much away, but which is another reason I enjoyed this movie this much. It could’ve easily followed the tried and tested format when it came to the end, but the movie truly makes you think of the reasons people come into our lives, and the roles they play in helping us realise our dreams.
After all, the movie is about following your dreams. And the movie itself is an absolute dream – and I would highly recommend seeing La La Land.
Check out the trailer for La La Land below:
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