La La Land is the story of an aspiring actress called Mia (Emma Stone) struggling to find her big break and a committed Jazz musician called Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who is having trouble keeping a consistent gig. Set in modern day Los Angeles we see a musical love story between two people who struggle with what is more important in life, chasing your dream or pursuing a once in a lifetime love.
I am happy to say that they choose chasing their dreams over spending a miserable and heartbreaking life together never getting their dream careers. The end of the film is really happy because despite the pain of not being together they both smile because they are happy that the other got the thing they always said they wanted. As much as I wanted them to run off together at the end of the film the actual conclusion was much more realistic. The film also accurately portrays acting auditions and the heartache that comes with having to sell out to be successful.
Although the songs aren’t necessarily catchy in the same way as Grease or any of those types of musical they are timeless and trust me, you will be humming them for days. The same goes for the voices of the main actors, neither have got the strongest singing voices, but both give incredible performances that make you forget that. The subtlety of the music worked so well with the voices of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling though. This is a musical for people who aren’t necessarily musical fans because although it may start with a campy musical number that doesn’t continue and the music becomes more unique and pleasing to the ear.
The choreography was entrancing. So beautiful and once again subtle, it’s not too much so that you roll your eyes, but it’s elegant and beautiful also few and far between so you don’t get bored of it. Stone and Gosling pull it off so perfectly as well, they are a perfect duo on screen. They seemed to really understand the beauty of the romance that Damien Chazelle was trying to (and managed to) convey – a love that they would never find with anyone else. You can really see this in the choreography.
Emma Stone really shined in this film as Mia, I would go as far as saying this is her best performance yet. She managed to capture the essence of the character really well and portray her as more than just a “dreamer” caught up in a fantasy love story. The same goes for Ryan Gosling, he gave the character a real feeling of passion and determination and once again we see the character as so much more than just a “Dreamer”. None of the supporting characters really stood out, even John Legend felt like a character in the way compared to the on screen chemistry that Stone and Gosling shared which was, I imagine, on purpose.
Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. It is a key element to any film, but is used so beautifully in this one. You don’t really see lighting the way it’s used in La La Land in modern cinema so it is quite refreshing to see it in this one. It really captures the dream-esque effect of the characters, I like it because it doesn’t try to make the love look “natural” they make it seem like a dream which is what most relationships feel like at the beginning.
This is a truly beautiful film that will remind you of the old classic musicals, but set in modern day times. A realistic tale told in a stylistic way that will have you mesmerised from start to finish. With fantastic performances that give us deep and meaningful characters that you really feel for. If you get a chance please see this film in the cinema, it provides us with some classic modern day escapism and will leave you smiling.