Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 128 Minutes
Unlike anything we’ve seen in the last few decades, La La Land is an original musical screenplay, from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, which brings back the Golden Era of Hollywood with its charm, wit and infectious dancing and singing.
It tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring young actress working as a barista in a Warner Bros Studios coffee shop, down on her luck, facing constant rejection and struggling to stay motivated. This is until she meets and continues to run into the witty and inspiring Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a pianist set on keeping the dying art of jazz alive, getting away from his humiliating day job of playing jingles and setting up his own jazz bar. His determination inspires Mia to pursue her dreams and do anything she can to become the Hollywood actress she’s desperate to be. The film follows the highs and lows of their relationship and careers, and once again leaves you rooting for a Stone and Gosling couple.
This story line, tied in with an incredible, original soundtrack, from Justin Hurwitz (which I will be owning on vinyl as soon as possible), and brilliantly choreographed dance sequences which bring back all the nostalgia of classic Hollywood films like Singin’ In The Rain (1952), make this a modern day classic, which leaves you with a tear in your eye, yet a spring in your step and one of the biggest smiles on your face.
Emma Stone pushes her boundaries once again by taking on this role, and personally it’s the best performance I’ve seen from her since The Help (2011), where funnily enough she was acting alongside her co-contender for the Best Actress Oscar this year, Viola Davis, for her role in Fences, out on 10th February.
Ryan Gosling takes the cool, witty and sarcastic character he tends to portray, which we either love or hate and adds a considerable amount of musical talent, which we didn’t know he had, into the mix, to create a very memorable character which every man and woman watching will sympathise for at some point.
Both actors have put considerable effort into the lead up to this film, with tap dance lessons, singing lessons and most impressively from Gosling, piano lessons, which have enabled him to play some of the most addictive melodies which, admittedly, I am still listening to today!
You can tell that Damien Chazelle has put all of his love for classic movies and all of his love for jazz music into this masterpiece, and he is definitely on course for directing the most unique and beautiful film of 2017, certainly for this generation. He brings a ‘simpler time’ into a modern day setting, leaving us inspired as an audience and in awe well after the credits roll.
Overall, it’s safe to say that the highly anticipated, 7 time Golden Globe winner delivers on all expectations and cements it place as a well-worthy Oscars contender!
Recommendation: This film HAS to be seen at the cinema! It will transport you back to a time most of you reading won’t even have come close to experiencing.