I can honestly say when I walked into the theatre to watch La La Land I had no idea what I was about to watch. I'd like to say I had no opinion of the film prior to watching it, and that this review will be completely objective, but much of my reasoning for going to see the film was due to the fact Emma Stone is one of my favourite actresses for numerous reasons. However apart of my pre-love for Emma Stone, a fondness for Ryan Gosling and a love for musicals I really did go into the cinema with nothing more than high expectations and a blind hope that the film would reach them. La La Land without a doubt met and exceeded every expectation I had for it.
Directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land tells a story of an actress named Mia, played by Emma Stone, and a jazz pianist called Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling. The two characters are both passionate and talented in their own right. After a series of coincidences that bring the two characters together, they begin to be torn between their careers and each other. After the film won a record-breaking 7 Golden Globes, my expectations for the film were exceedingly high; furthermore with a Dad who has worked on a number of films, I can't help but judge films for their production value as well as general enjoyment. However when the credits finally rolled down the blackened screen I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t welling up.
The story itself was textbook, cliched even, and on reflection Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling really did carry the whole film, with there being very few, if any other significant characters; however, despite the story being nothing unique, the execution, production and writing of the film was breathtaking. The cinematography alone was something even my dad considered art work, but one of the most beautiful aspects of the film was the music.
When we got the tickets I was vaguely aware of the fact the film was a musical, but since watching the film I've listened to the soundtrack at least three times. Written by Justin Hurwitz, the music is not over the top, but with or without lyrics each song carries its own meaning and tells a small part of each character's story. One of the best song, ‘A Lovely Night’ is one worth a listen regardless of if you've seen the film or not, perfectly illustrating the wit and the charm behind the script. If less fond of stage music then I'd similarly recommend ‘City of Stars’, both songs giving a small insight into the warmth of the writing and the comforting tone that accompanies the film.
Whether you are a lover of musicals or even someone that simply enjoys a good film, I'd recommend La La Land to everyone. The film has left me with an odd hope and determination, and it deserves all 7 of its Golden Globes as well as every award it's bound to receive over the next year.
“Here’s to the dreamers.”