First Word: La La Land gained momentum in the theater after word spread about the story and its stars. La La Land was directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) who incidentally won the Best Director Oscar and made him the youngest director ever to win this award. This wasn’t the only award La La Land took home however. The film won six Oscars total and has accumulated a massive fan following. With a budget of 30 million dollars, La La Land accumulated over 443 million dollars at the box office worldwide.
Synopsis: La La Land focuses on two ambitious adults who are determined to follow their dreams in Los Angeles. Mia (Emma Stone) has her heart set on becoming an actress although audition after audition wears on here. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) loves jazz and wants to revive this lost art by starting his own club in L. A. These two meet each other in a happenchance moment and together they encourage each other to reach their goals. However, life isn’t a fairytale and the two realize this as their relationship continues. With homages to past musicals but with a lovely modern flare and contemporary story, La La Land is a sweet film with a great rewatchability factor. There were some moments that did take me out of the film. For some viewers I’m sure it was a humble homage to Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell’s dance from “Broadway Melody of 1940”, but the dancing scene in the starry sky seemed forced. The screenplay, also written by Chazelle, keeps the audience hooked from the very opening scene. 9/10
Cinematography: There’s no doubt about it, La La Land has some spectacular cinematography (not to mention amazing choreography). This movie is just so stunning to watch aside from the plot and actors. No wonder it was awarded Best Achievement in Cinematography: this film looks fantastic. From the opening scene on the L. A. freeway (which was one continuous shot) to the closing bar scene, La La Land is incredibly well shot from start to finish. 9/10
Characterization: The amazing chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone paired with a great screenplay make our two main characters so believable and relatable. However, I believe most of the credit belongs to Gosling and the screenplay. Emma Stone won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Mia. Although Stone does a good job in her role I don’t know if the Best Actress award was well deserved. Personally I believe Ryan Gosling delivers his lines well and does a much better job with his character. With the screenplay being fantastic and Gosling performing above standard this helps Emma Stone shine even though she is probably the weakest link in the chain. 8/10
Conclusion: La La Land is a delight. I enjoyed the simple love story and the fantastic cinematography. The songs are catchy, the story is entertaining, and it is full of tributes to classic musicals. La La Land is definitely worth the watch.
Final Score: 8.7/10