Date watched: Sunday 8th January 2017
Year released: 2017
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”
This movie was just amazing. I loved every moment of it from start to finish. The reviews I’d heard prior to watching this movie were all in the positive vein, so my expectations were high before I even took my seat in theatre. Let’d just say not only were my expectations reached, but the roof was blown off and they reached galactic heights.
“La La Land” was a stunning ode to the golden days of Hollywood. The classic musical style blended perfectly with modern filmmaking to make this purely beautiful piece of cinematic wonder. The movie was happy and bright all the way though, in the music and the colour used. Writer/Director Damien Chazelle has created an instant classic, and composer Justin Hurwitz’s score and the original songs in La La Land, along with the wonderfully choreographed dance sequences, really keep the energy levels high, and make you never want the movie to end.
Within minutes of getting home I had the OSTs downloaded and playing at full volume in the house, and I imagine they will still be playing for a few weeks longer. ‘City of Stars’ in particular lends itself as a nice little ear worm; I predict everyone will be idly singing this tune under their breath for weeks after the movie’s official release this weekend.
The music was a character in it’s own right. Musical and dance numbers aside, Mis and Seb’s theme is hauntingly beautiful, and hearing their theme and instrumental edits of ‘City of Stars’ threaded throughout the entire score added huge feels to the piece. Seb’s passion for jazz music also leached off the screen and into your heart, and there’s a scene where he’s describing the ‘feel’ of jazz to Mia and it just makes you adore the music even more.
Emma Stone as Mia was her usual wonderful, glowing self. That girl popped up (to me anyway) out of no where in “Easy A” and I fast joined her fan club. She can do no wrong, and is sure to sweep the board with awards for this movie this season. One of the greatest surprises in this movie though was Ryan Gosling. I’ve always seen him as a talented actor, but I couldn’t even imagine him in a singing, dancing role but he really shone in “La La Land.” It was incredibly refreshing seeing him in a completely different role to those he normally plays.
This movie was just a wonderful love letter to the Hollywood movies of old. I challenge anyone who goes to see it to not spend the next week humming the melodies and singing the songs without even realising they’re doing so. I am so glad Cineworld provided us with an advance screening, because it means I can rave about it to everyone I know and hopefully persuade them to let me tag along to see it all over again.
My rating: 9/10