Director/Writer: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sonoya Mizuno, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothenberg and Jason Fuchs
Release Date: December 25, 2016
Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for “some language”
Plot Summary: “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”
Put simply, this is the best musical to be released in theaters since “Les Miserables” (2012). Damien Chazelle elegantly and masterfully follows the success of “Whiplash” (2014) with a vibrant, beautiful, and moving musical about love and ambition. The story takes it’s time to pick up pace, but the wait definitely pays off; Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both excel at delivering emotional, passionate and moving performances in a story that eventually takes a more somber turn and pulls on audiences’ heartstrings. Stone and Gosling both break out of their comfort zones through mesmerizing vocals and memorable choreography. The songs “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” were my favorite of the many great songs featured throughout this film because of their sheer power. Anyone who loves hearing great music in films will not be disappointed.
However, my favorite part of “La La Land” (2016) was not the performances or the soundtrack; it was the visuals. Fans of creative filmmaking will most definitely be enthralled by “La La Land”’s wide takes, superb lighting, creative set design, artistic camera movements and flawless editing. This is one of the best filmed movies that I have seen in a long time.
I also really loved the message of this movie. It has such a clear and powerful message about ambition and persistence that enchants audiences. This movie accurately displays the struggles of aspiring artists living in a big city while also taking a look at the dying beauty of jazz music. “La La Land” has a message that everyone needs to hear.
I am going to give “La La Land” an “A”. The first 20-30 minutes of this film do give off a very generic and uncreative vibe, but as soon as the film picks up pace, all doubts of this film being uncreative and generic are cast aside. Fans of musicals will adore this film, but I also heavily implore people who do not like musicals to give this film a chance; it is worth the price of the ticket because it is magical and beautiful.