La La Land is one of those glorious films that comes out of nowhere, sweeps you up on a musical journey and dazzles from start to finish. This smartly written, thought provocative film about dreaming big and following your ambitions is such a welcome change from the moody dramas and endless sequels dominating Hollywood right now, its hard not to love it.
The film follows two characters, Mia (Emma Stone), a waitress who dreams of being a famous actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a pianist who longs to bring Jazz back into the public eye by becoming a household Jazz name. Their journeys intertwine together in this musical drama about following your dreams. Whilst La La Land doesn’t necessarily do anything innovative beyond the catchy melodies, musical numbers and great acting its graced with, it stands out and the gorgeous cinematogaphy only reinforces this.
La La Land plays out as a standard Romantic Drama with a sprinkle of humour; there’s no surprise twists but the way Damien Chazelle handles these characters and finishes the story with a bittersweet epilogue is incredibly powerful and really makes you question what sacrifices have to be made to achieve your dreams. This is certainly going to be a divisive title, with opinion split between those who love and those who loathe this film. La La Land feels like a theatre production at times and the intertwined music, dancing and dramatic story work harmoniously together. Although the middle portion of the film is light on music, it more than makes up for it with its dramatic story.
La La Land is a glorious film, one of the best I’ve seen in a long, long time and it fully deserves its 6 Oscars. This ode to Hollywood does feel like Oscar bait at times but it never detracts from the title, if anything this is the perfect love letter to the film industry. La La Land’s cinematography is top notch and the critique around the singing and dancing not being incredible is futile – this is a film about following your dreams regardless of limitations and because of this, it actually adds to the charm. It won’t be for everyone of course but for this reviewer, La La Land resonates and is one of the best films released this year.