Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
A throwback? A modern take? A combination of old Hollywood and new?
In an effort to rejuvenate the world of musicals on film La La Land makes no secrets about its intentions. From the opening ensemble number to the final piano solo the film screams of nostalgia while using a modern style. Singing and dancing to good jazz and finger snapping this film grabs your attention and does not let go.
Gosling plays Sebastian, a struggling jazz musician living in Los Angeles attempting to fulfill his dream of running a true jazz club. His struggle is not with his talent but with his inner morals to never sell out to the modern styles of jazz simply to earn a paycheck.
Stone is Mia, an aspiring actress going on audition after audition only to return to her tiny apartment shared with three other hopeless actresses. Each day finds her returning to her barista job at a coffee shop located on a movie studio set that only feeds her passion to be a part of Hollywood in any way possible.
Their relationship grows as they find themselves pushing each other to pursue their passions. Through song and dance they fall for each other in only a way that each other can understand. They fit perfectly step for step and in harmony. The relationship gets put to the test like any other and they each have to make decisions for their careers vs their love for each other.
The set design is simple but colorful. The songs are up-tempo but far from flashy and overdone. Don’t be surprised to find yourself looking up local jazz clubs in your town after hearing this soundtrack. Gosling and Stone sing and dance just enough to sell you on their talent, while Goslings piano playing puts you over the top.
I don’t know if this film will kick off a new generation of musicals. It actually feels more like a stand alone in the genre. I’d love to go on but I feel it would take away from your experience when seeing the film.Either way I suggest sitting back and enjoying this unique fantastic style of story telling.
My rating: 9.5 outta 10