La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Have you ever wanted something so bad you’d do anything for it? That’s how Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) feel. To follow her dream, Mia moves to L.A from a small town and gets a job as a coffee barista to support herself. She goes to awful parties with her friends who hope they can meet someone that can help them become actresses. To follow his dream, Sebastian hops from gig to gig as a pianist playing music he doesn’t like, hoping to scrounge up enough money to open up his dream jazz club. In this stunning Academy Award-nominated musical, we see what dreams are worth sacrificing for.
This movie is so amazing I don’t know where to begin. This film has been nominated for a total of 14 including best motion picture, best original screenplay, best original music score, best director and best motion picture.The original score is fantastic, the cinematography is great, the chemistry between actors is beautiful, the impromptu dance numbers are marvelous and the story is heart-wrenching. In my mind, this film deserves each and every one of its nominations.
First off I’d like to talk about how good it was as a musical. This film was in the style of an old Hollywood musical, like the kind with a singing and dancing Gene Kelly with Kathryn Grayson or Debbie Reynolds. It did a perfect homage to that genre. We don’t see many films like this anymore and the fact that Damien Chazelle took this risk and made this film is astounding. That he executed it perfectly makes it even better. I’ll never forget the feeling I had when the opening number started and they’re singing and dancing along the freeway. That scene alone got my attention for the whole film.
Plus, the soundtrack was fantastic! Every single song from this movie is unbelievable. With the opening number they’re singing on the freeway and at the end of that song, they cadence with car horns! My inner music nerd rejoices every time I hear that part. Since seeing this film I have bought the soundtrack and now know all the words to every song. “City of Stars” has been nominated for best original song, as it should be, but all the songs from the soundtrack are wonderful. My favourite is “Lovely Night”. It beautifully describes how both Mia and Sebastian are feeling while they sing that song. Mia is complaining about how much her heels are hurting her feet and so she takes some dance emergency shoes out of her bag! You know it’s going to be a good musical when there’s dance emergency shoes.
Another thing that was so good about this film was the focus on the protagonist’s dreams. I think the message that nothing is worth giving up your dream for is wonderful. I feel like this message especially will ring true for arts students (like myself), seeing as Mia and Sebastian are supposed to be people on the younger side looking to start their careers in the arts. We see Mia paying all the money she has to put on a one-woman show for a few people to watch. We see Sebastian playing the song “I Ran” in a 1980s jumpsuit, just to get some money to put towards his future club. Sometimes these characters get discouraged or distracted, but with the help of each other they both work to achieve their dreams. One of the songs that Mia sings alone perfectly portrays what the movie is trying to say when it comes to people’s goals. It’s called “The Fools Who Dream”. It talks about how you might be foolish for dreaming and how it might not be easy, but the world needs fools who dream.
To conclude; I really enjoyed this film. From the score, to the old Hollywood vibe, to the nice message to the general public (but especially arts students). It had me at the edge of my seat from the beginning number to the last shot. I loved every minute of the whole film. I think that this film really deserves it’s many academy awards and I wish it the best of luck at the Oscars.