Leave your preconceptions at home for this dazzling piece of work. An unavoidable film, but equally unmissable.
As I walked across town this morning (humming La La Land’s central track “City of Stars”) three buses in a row passed by emblazoned with La La Land posters, proclaiming it “The best film of the year!” A rather large claim as the year has barely started. Having already swept across the Golden Globes with its Hollywood charm, it seems likely the film is set to work its magic on the upcoming BAFTAs and Academy Awards. So is La La Land the instant classic the entire media industry and your friends are telling you?
The answer – quite possibly, but it’s all down to you. It’d be very easy to sit in front of La La Land and chastise it for not revolutionising your life, and that would be a huge shame as there’s so much joy to take from the film that you’d be squandering. Let’s not forget that at the end of the day this is just a film designed to entertain you, and if you let it La La Land will do that and then some.
La La Land performs the impressive feat of being instantly recognisable, with all the tropes of a Hollywood musical you’d expect, and yet somehow come across as wholly original at the same time. It owes a huge debt to films in the vein of “Singin’ in the Rain”, but brings the charm up to date for a modern audience. Director Damien Chazelle demonstrates his impressive skills yet again, as he did with 2014’s acclaimed “Whiplash.” The camera glides almost flawlessly from scene to scene as we watch the action unfold.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make an excellent central pairing, the chemistry working well and leaving you rooting for the relationship. Though both give it their all, the film is really Emma Stone’s and she deserves all the recognition she’s bound to receive. They both exhibit talent in the singing department, with voices that fit with the soothing and poignant soundtrack. Thankfully there are no screeching Broadway voices to be found in La La Land.
The plot itself plays an integral part to the film’s success, which can’t be talked about without spoiling things. All I can say is you’ll understand what this means once you’re back from the cinema. Clear your mind of the awards buzz and relish in the escapism. Make sure you give it the chance it deserves.