LA LA LAND (2016)


Written & Directed By: Damien Chazelle
Cinematography: Linus Sandgren
Editor: Tom Cross
Music By: Justin Hurwitz 

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothe, Sonoya Mizuno, Valarie Rae Miller, Tom Everett Scott 

Aspiring actress serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and jazz musician Sebastian scrapes by playing cocktail-party gigs in dingy bars. But as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

This is a big Hollywood epic with an indie sensibility.

The film Might be overpraised by some but doesn’t mean the film is without merits.

There haven’t been really too many musicals lately this one came along and is more the classical with having a more avant garde way of telling the story but in a more mainstream way of advancing story and having an emotional core with the songs. Instead of them being an extravaganza meant to be show stoppers and really just there to dazzle.

Though the movie can easily be written off as trying to tell It’s story in a classic mode that hasn’t been sued in a while and going. For a certain glory. This film feels like it can only be told in this way

As the film Shows a love of the genre as well as playing by the rules and adding a spin of it’s own. As it Also has a kind of successful A STAR IS BORN type story. Only without the heaviness of a tragic ending. Though it does have it’s own tragic ending of sorts.

The ending is tragic in that it offers up some hope at first before letting the wind out of the soaps of the audience. That reminds the audience of the reality vs fantasy sequence in 500 DAYS OF SUMMER. It’s beautifully and so emotional that every note feels like a moment. Though it is meant to pull on your heartstrings and have an emotional reaction yourself which makes it all the more memorable. As the characters and we Review and look back over all the decisions might they have had a chance to go another way. Not to mention a future that could have been.

An homage to musical while being one itself though owing more to European ones which they share the theme of success but tragedy choosing to show the peril Of the relationship that goes with individual success the difference between art and commerce with a kind of ending that fools us with that could have been making the wound hurt more.

Which is where it doesn’t Feel as familiar in the second half the after the happily ever after even if it involves a character who kind of appropriates culture though more to a degree but that is more subjective than anything a romance at least. Though through it all the film Wears it’s influences and even if knowing where it is going leaves surprises or at least attempts them. Which keeps the audience on it’s tied and excited as the film goes along.

This shows A love of film and a great love story that might remind many of theirs or at least a dream one they wish they had. A reminder of CinemaScope and technicolor musicals of all ages. As it is hopeful and energetic but shows struggling and settling then finding fame and success and it’s painful aftermath. That while great for the individual is not healthy for a relationship. As one might have to settle or give up their dreams and drive for the other to prosper.

A story that shows of old Hollywood and jazz, A throwback simpler classy times. There is Nothing vulgar about it. Which is becoming increasingly rare in movies these days. At least when it comes to movies that have a certain pedigree.

The Dancing is noteworthy. It not phenomenal to show the characters are human and normal. The magic you feel and how strong those emotions or how you wish they would be. The First half feels like a broadway musical almost as it gets closer to reality and more serious less and less musicals

The film Feels like a fair sided testament. The film is infectious and makes you want to watch More as it stays inventive.

The filmmakers previous films all have music or revolve around it. So that you can tell he has a passion for it and in his storytelling here it is goes hand and hand with the story. As This feels more a continuation of GUY AND MADELINE IN THE PARK his first film. WHIPLASH his next film takes place around music and passion but also seemed more dramatic, destructive and dark.

This film Almost feels like a film stitched together from your favorite parts of songs and movies the scenes you fast forward or rewind over and over to get to. Though under a different or new coat. It owes a deep debt definitely to it’s influences like YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT and UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG

Grade: A-

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