When a film accumulates such hype the sceptic within me begins to suspect that all may not be what it seems, and that sceptic was right.
La La Land is even better than all the hype.
From the get go, it had me! That buzz, that rush, that feeling of being sucked into the sun-kissed colourful world that is La La Land.
It gets you just the way it got Mia (Emma Stone) and Seb ( Ryan Gosling) and you immediately understand why they chase the illusive dream. (Then again this could have been intensified for me as I was watching the film straight after doing an audition)
After I had adjusted myself to the beauty and glamour of the old Hollywood style gloss which washes over the film ( a gloss intensified by the grey, drenched London which I had been in moments before). What struck me was the diversity. I wasn’t watching a hundred odd slim, young, white blond girls prance about.
In fact quite the opposite, there was every shape, size, an race performing in an increasingly manic way.
Granted the two leads are a pair of slim, white, young and unfathomably good looking types, but my point is that in general the film is fairly diverse, something which I adore. One because fuck you Trump, and two because it might just change the perception people have about musicals.
Now, about the unfathomably good looking pair that lead this film, they were divine.
It’s almost as if ‘there was no script and the characters were built around them after an intense rehearsal period’ (film reference there).
Both actors bring touches to their roles which no other actor could. From Gosling’s effortlessly suave and yet reserved manor which results in a perfectly cool, charming, but sometimes cutting Seb. To Stone’s doe eyed exterior, matched with her witty way making a perfectly, plucky and yet heartbreaking Mia.
The pair obviously have a great connection and chemistry which undoubtedly comes from working together previously. From their brilliantly modern meet-cute we know that we are about to follow these two on a whirlwind of a love story.
As we journey through the film we pass, almost Gilmore Girls style, through the four seasons, yet no matter which we reach, that good old Hollywood glow proceeds us, and just behind that comes the harsh realities of La La Land.
Mia’s audition scenes are cutting, and for an actor, especially heartbreaking and yet at the same time oddly uplifting. We see that she is an outstanding actress, and yet constantly just being ignored, or cut off for a cup of coffee and our heart breaks.
Heart break and tears are something you should be prepared for when watching this film because they go hand in hand with the uplifting moments of laughter and love.
In fact I think this constant conflict of emotions is exactly what La La Land is, it’s the definition of bitter sweet.
From the moment they open with ‘Another day of sun’ to a ‘lovely night’ onto ‘Audition’ and ending with ‘Epilogue’ every scene, every song and every locking of Stone’s and Gosling’s eyes, we are lifted into La La Land.
Here we foolishly hope that this will all work out perfectly, as we float up to the stars and give our hearts to Hollywood.
It allows us to dance for a moment with Mia and Seb and then without us even noticing we slowly begin to decened until finally we are back in our seats, wondering how we got there as the closing piano notes of Mia and Seb’s theme play in our ears.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Congratulations Chazelle, you have created a masterpiece.