Happy 2017! Let’s start off the new year strong with a review for one of the best movies from last year and a potential Oscar nominee. Ladies and gents, I present to you, La La Land.
Story: I’ll start off here by saying this is the weakest part of the movie. The story here is pretty predictable and presents nothing much out of the ordinary. It’s about a woman trying to make it as an actress and a man trying to start his own jazz club. From there it’s a story of love, love found, love lost, et cetera et cetera. It just doesn’t feel as special as it could be, and the ending is a bit…well…this movie has life 5 different endings and while the actual ending fits best, the editing could’ve been done better. Don’t get me wrong. The story is great and hits close to home but it’s just not fantastic…
Acting: …luckily the story doesn’t have to be fantastic for the rest of the movie to be great. From the minute I saw the first trailer, I thought this movie was made to get Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone Oscars and god damn they deserve them for this flick. Those two work perfectly together and feed off each other so so wonderfully. The only thing keeping me from giving this a 10 is that the rest of the cast is virtually non-existent. John Legend is on screen for a hot minute but is basically “Musician Cameo #1” and no other actor or actress really stands out. (I’m a little salty they didn’t really use JK Simmons well but whatever) I know the movie is about Gosling and Stone but they could’ve been enhanced by a better supporting cast.
Presentation: This movie looks fantastic. The shots of LA, the clubs, the sets (and by sets I mean showing movie sets and Hollywood/not the physical sets they shot this movie on) all look amazing. Additionally, the way the movie is shot, from angles to lighting to transitions, makes it feel like you’re watching a vintage Broadway show. I truly felt like I wasn’t watching a film but a recorded video of a live stage show. I have never heard of Damien Chazell (that’s the director kiddies) but he deserves to be nominated for movie sainthood for this work. Well done. <clap clap>
Effect: Like I said, it feels like a Broadway musical and as someone who hates musicals, this movie is perfect. It is just a wonderful show to watch and should be enjoyed by all. Every year, there are a few films that I believe everyone needs to experience and this is by far one of those films for 2016. This is still in theaters. Go see it now.
Music: Normally I’d save this last category for other thoughts and opinions, however seeing as this is a musical, I thought I’d use this last one to share my thoughts on this wonderful soundtrack. It is truly is amazing. Nearly every track, from the big musical set pieces to the “supporting” tracks that just serve as background music, is beautify performed and expertly placed. There were plenty of movies from last year with great music (Rogue One for instance) but none had music on this level that made me go right home and buy the soundtrack.
This movie will probably be nominated for multiple Oscars and rightfully so. It is superb and hands down, one of the greatest movies of last year.