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La La Land, A Quick Review

la la land

La La Land
Synopsis: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
Running Time: 128 minutes
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend

TGL Rating: ****1/2
Positives: Great Cast, Great Performances, Great Musical Numbers
Negatives: Inconsistent Directing, Bittersweet Ending

If you liked Moulin Rouge, you will like this.

It’s only been a couple of hours since a friend dragged me to see La La Land in the cinema and forced me to purchase a billion overpriced candies, but the movie will stay with me a lot longer than the sugared popcorn will.

A musical romantic comedy about a jazz traditionalist and an aspiring actress set in present-day LA, directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and starring Emma Stone (aspiring actress) and Ryan Gosling (jazz traditionalist), didn’t immediately appeal to me, like say Star Wars: Rogue One or even Passengers, but that’s the odd charm the movie possesses, an ability to appeal to the uninterested.

La La Land is both experimental film making and cliched storytelling with a unique spin. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling shine in their roles with very real performances. Chazelle’s direction ranges from dazzling to suffocating. The cinematography is a delight. The musical numbers are memorable and pertinent, managing to avoid the common musical downfalls of feeling too shoehorned in. It is very much a marvel of movie and from being befuddled by the buzz, I now completely understand it and root for La La Land to take the 89th Academy Awards by storm.

The surreal style may not be for everyone and the — no spoilers — bittersweet ending will disappoint and sadden the optimists amongst us, but for anyone willing to overlook those minor details, I fully recommend La La Land.

If you haven’t had a chance to see La La Land yet, I’d suggest checking it out in the theatres to experience the full experience. Just try not to spend a billion on overpriced candies.

Flashback Post: This post originally appeared on The Gossip Life 13/01/17.

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14 Comments »

  1. It took me forever to see it, but I’m really glad I did. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have chemistry off the charts and both of them give such great performances. Deserved Best Picture over Moonlight for me…

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  2. Linus Sandgren’s cinematography is the best part. Eagerly awaiting his next two projects, Battle of the Sexes (Billie Jean King & Bobby Riggs tennis match movie) and the Nutcracker and the Four Realms (remake). More Oscars in his future.

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  3. Damien Chazelle is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. Whiplash and La La Land are two vastly different movies with rewatchability and great acting.

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