Saturday, December 31, 2016

La La Land

Movie Name: La La Land
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Damian Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, John Legend, J.K. Simmons, 
Genre: Drama, Musical
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9
View Trailer Here

After the critical success of "Whiplash", director Damian Chazelle has returned with a new feature, this time around a beautiful musical. The film follows the story of Sebastian and Mia in Los Angeles. Sebastian is a jazz player who ambitions to own his own jazz club where he can play what he likes, improvise his music play and generally be his own man. Mia is a struggling actress, going to every audition she can get, and most of the times being ignored. They are drawn into each other, and eventually begin a relationship, one that is put to the test when their aspirations and dreams hit a challenging time.
"La La Land" manages to be simultaneously referential to the musicals of Classic Hollywood, but also to the work of celebrated french director Jacques Demy (who directed the classics "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and "The Young Girls of Rochefort"), all the while maintaining its own identity and uniqueness. The film is vibrant with the usage of color, melody and rhythm, and instantly inserts us viewers into the universe we're about to witness. And what a universe it is: the musical numbers are dazzling and fresh, with a perfect blend of drama and character context, before taking us away to dizzying heights of pure choreographed beauty. It's a film that lives from the rapport between the two leads, who are perfectly cast, and create indelible characters. The film is filled with beautiful details, that surface on the production design, or costume design, and how colors are used to accentuate emotions and particular scenes. It's a film that manages to capture the sweetness and longing of romance, while also taking us on a ride through jazz music. The cinematography from Linus Sandgren is stunning, as is the score by Justin Hurwitz. A great film worth watching!