La La Land (2016) | Classic Film Review

La La Land is a 2016 musical written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, First Man) and stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, he as an aspiring jazz club owner and she an actress.

They begin to fall in love after many chance encounters but inevitably, their careers devastatingly come between them. This film is one of my all time favourites, it is absolutely sublime. It’s a fantastically written commentary on Hollywood, and success in general. It highlights that at some point you may be tasked with choosing, success or the love of your life, and asks the audience, when faced with that choice what would you pick? The way we see Mia (Stone) go on auditions and see dozens of other girls that look like her exposes the Hollywood casting system. There is little to no individuality. Seb (Gosling) also does what he has to do in order to keep Mia happy, including touring for a band he doesn’t necessarily believe in, and this highlights the tough nature of the music industry to an extent. The love and relationship of Mia and Sebastian is ultimately tragic but the ride we re taken along for is fabulous!

The casting in this film is absolutely fantastic. Emma Stone is brilliant, smashing it out of the park in the acting and singing department, as does Ryan Gosling (the singing was a pleasant surprise.) The supporting cast was also great, John Legend in particular who proved himself to be a fairly good actor, exceeding my expectations. The score from Justin Hurwitz is absolutely immaculate, every lyric and composition so meticulously crafted. It is absolutely phenomenal and up there with my favourite scores. The film also looks absolutely beautiful, Linus Sandgren does a fantastic job with the cinematography, shooting in Cinemascope ratio 2.55:1, making it look fantastic and almost like a classic, going back to basics. Overall, I love this film, I loved it on release and I love it even more now!

Words by Jack Horsley.

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