Friday, 13 January 2017

La La Land (Review)

'La La Land' is a musical film staring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. This film is directed by Damien Chazelle and tells the story of an aspiring actress and a jazz musician who fall in love while pursuing their dreams in Los Angeles.

This film already has such critical praise that it has won several golden globes and is already nominated for a bunch of BAFTA's. Going into this film I was excited, but I felt some reservation, as I wondered how this film got so much praise. Was it just blind nostalgia?  Was it American critics feeling sentimental about the good old days of Hollywood? While some of that might be true, La La Land is much more than a "1950's rewind". The sheer talent that went into making this film is identifiable by every single frame.

 'La La Land' is one of the most beautiful films ever made. The free flowing, but perfectly stable direction from Damien Chazelle will make any aspiring filmmaker in awe at the craftsmanship on display. The cinematography from Linus Sandgren is simply outstanding. This film perfectly presents the cinematographers talents, as the majority if not all of the film rests on the cinematography, from it's long, complex tracking shots to it's contrast lighting, all while being shot in the classic cinemascope ratio of 2:55:1 in 35mm film. It's old school and it sticks with it in every detail. The production design of 'La La Land' is also another element to marvel at, each location is bright and bold and sets the backdrop of a dreamy Hollywood come roaring back to life. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play of each other with perfect chemistry. Once again Ryan Gosling shows his comedic talents and Emma Stone delivers one of the best performances of her career.

With all that being said a musical would not be anything without it's music and like Chazelle's predecessor 'Whiplash' the music in this film excites and delights. While all the songs are catchy, warm and charming, it's Justin Hurwitz score which makes the film a truly magical experience, which includes a mix of jazz and Broadway elements.

I am going to give 'La La Land' a ...

10/10

Overall, 'La La Land' is a film which is enjoyable on multiple levels and one that may even become a classic itself one day, the only thing which would stop it is the overwhelming critical praise and hype, which I have now become reservedly part of ...  Oh Well.

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