La La Land: the movie that reminded me why I fell in love with film in the first place. This cinematic masterpiece combines comedy, romance, and music in a way that will make you want to see it over, and over, and over again. I should know, I’ve seen it 4 times already.
La La Land tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), two people just trying to make their dreams come true in sunny Los Angeles. Mia is a struggling actress, while Sebastian is a jazz pianist who longs to start his own jazz club. The two meet and begin a whirlwind romance surrounding each other and their journey to reaching their dreams.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the cinematography. I mean, hot damn. There were points in the film where I was not only captured by the storyline but simply by the shot and the lighting and the framing, really EVERYTHING about how the film looked. You can tell that detail was very important to the filmmakers and that if they were going to do the film, they were going to do it right. This dedication to quality cinema shines throughout the entire film, creating a perfect balance between vintage and modern.
In addition to the visuals, the music is obviously a core part of this movie. The songs and score for La La Land were composed and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz (who also worked on Chazelle’s previous film, Whiplash). From up-beat tunes to moody ballads, the La La Land soundtrack ties into the story beautifully and will have you dancing in your seat. One of my favourite parts of the music in the film, is that is was repeats of the same song. For example, in a scene where a band is playing a song in the background, it was a re-composed version of a song sung in the beginning of the film. It’s small, it’s not that noticeable, but it adds a fluidity to the film that I definitely appreciated.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are amazing in this, as they are in anything they do. I had to go rewatch Crazy Stupid Love just so I could appreciate all the Ryan/Emma films that we have been blessed with. The rehearsal process of this film was extensive, with dance lessons and piano lessons for Gosling. And he really learned the piano! All the scenes where he plays are long, one-shot scenes that prove there are not doubles and the acting was genuine. Stone also steals the show with her beautiful singing voice with Audition (Fools Who Dream).
My final thoughts? Go see this movie. Then go see it again. Then go see it again in IMAX. Then buy it in Blu-Ray. Become one with La La Land and let it take over your life. You can thank me later.
About the author: Katie is a makeup artist/blogger from the Great White North (AKA, good ol’ Canada). She spends her time creating YouTube videos, writing about anything that crosses her mind, and living vicariously through episodes How I Met Your Mother. You can check out her videos here. Or follow Katie on Twitter and at her Blog.