La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, JK Simmons
Country of Origin: USA 2016 130 mins. (12A)
Golden Globe Winner Best Picture Musical or Comedy, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actor in a Musical (Ryan Gosling), Best Actress in a Musical (Emma Stone), Best Screenplay (Damien Chazelle), Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz), Best Original Song (City of Stars, Justin Hurwitz)
Released by Lionsgate
The opening sequence says it all. Magic song and dance on an LA freeway. The golden era of Hollywood musicals is alive and jumping as a bitter sweet love affair blossoms between Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz-loving pianist. With hints of George Gershwin, Busby Berkeley and Jacques Demy 'La La Land' is a stunning delight, reach for the stars and dream that embraces you with warmth, wit and charm. It's a should see, must see, Don't miss it with a capital D.
Happy days on an LA rush hour freeway. Mia goes through her lines for an audition. Seb, edgy, not an easy to get on with guy, blasts the horn. It's fingers up to you lady. And to you impatient man. Fast forward to an LA restaurant, when they meet again. Seb tinkles the keys, drops the background music touch for jazz improvisation and looses his job (a nice cameo from restaurant manager JK Simmons) but an affair begins. There's always tomorrow, it's going to happen. they're going to make it. Seb will hit the road and open his own jazz club. Mia will write her own one woman show. Joy and pain, but the big time awaits.
There's great screen chemistry and terrific performances from the two leads. Ryan Gosling's got that hidden love hurts look and Emma Stone's eyes say it all. Love's never easy and mixing in career and success can be a toxic mix.
Superb editing, a knock out score, Linus Sandgren's great cinematography and Damien Chazelle’s imaginative touch wraps up a wow, let’s dance routine that hits the button full-on in a reach for the stars, sing, dance and dream. Wonderful cinema.