Okay, I am a few years behind on some movies. You might have already seen this one, and if so, feel free to keep scrolling. I finally got around to watching Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” and it was excellent!
Do you like musicals, do you enjoy a flirty romantic story, do you miss the glory days of film? If you said yes to any of those, then I think you will like this one.
Starring Emma Stone as Mia an aspiring actress moved from Boulder City, Nevada to live her dream in Hollywood and Ryan Gosling as Sebastian an Angeleno in love with jazz hoping to “save” it by getting a nightclub where musicians play only classic jazz, the story is about following your dreams.
Much of the film is an homage to classic film-making and Hollywood with lots of nods to musicals in the 1950s that Chazelle steals inspiration from throughout. It is a relatively “clean” movie, no sex or violence, the use of one short F-bomb earned the film a PG-13 rating. The film revolves around the musical numbers of the main characters as they struggle in a city of struggling artists, find each other, and somewhat reluctantly fall in love.
Despite the palpable on-screen connection between Stone and Gosling, the story is no about romantic love, but about spurring one another along, and never giving up on your dreams.
I didn’t get the ending when I watched it at first, but there was a featurette that Chazelle and others discuss the dream ballet sequence. The way he uses it, it is almost like an alternate ending within the movie. It was a beautiful scene and after watching his explanation in the featurette it made a lot more sense and I think it was my favorite part of the movie. I don’t want to give it away here, but the uniqueness of that final scene alone makes the film worth watching.
This film came out in 2016 so there’s a good chance you’ve already seen it, but critics and moviegoers alike loved the film. Emma Stone won the Oscar for Best Actress. Damien Chazelle won the Oscar for Best Director, becoming the youngest director at 32 years, 38 days to win the honor. The film also won an Oscar for Best Cinematography. “City of Stars” won the Oscar for Best Song. The film won the Oscar for Best Production Design as well. It lost the Best Picture Oscar to “Moonlight.” The film was nominated in seven other categories as well including Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle), Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Costume Design, and they even had a second song nominated, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).”
Hollywood loves a good musical. This was a very good musical, one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it would be a fun, uplifting film to watch while you are holed up inside hiding from COVID-19. 😉