La La Land (2016) Review

To say what hasn’t been said about La La Land is difficult when it’s been so universally praised. I’ll start off by saying, yes, it does deserve every bit of acclaim, and I stand by my original verdict of the film. It’s a soaring, extravagant Hollywood musical, perhaps this century’s Singin’ in the Rain. La La Land is very much a classic Hollywood film in the hands of one of the decade’s best American filmmakers.

Damian Chazelle has revitalized the Hollywood musical with his latest (and second) project, La La Land; a bright and beautiful picture that takes its influences from Jacques Demy (I was surprised by how much) and the upbeat musicals of classic cinema. Without looking too much into the past for inspiration, Chazelle manages to perfectly place nostalgic Hollywood into the digital age, and with the support of magnetic on-screen couple Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the film flourishes, spectacle after spectacle.

This time round, I somewhat studied Gosling and Stone, the film’s leads. One remarkable thing about Emma Stone is the way she controls her facial expressions when she has no dialogue. At one moment in the film, she’s interrupted halfway in her audition, a tear spilling down her face as part of the performance for the casting directors, awaiting an “ok” to continue from one of them, eyes wide, a confused look, trying to comprehend what she should be doing. Looking at that, I wish her a bundle of oncoming awards for the year. She really is fantastic.

9.3/10

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