Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Movie Review: La La Land

The love story set in Los Angeles was written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The movie stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as lovers who meet and fall and love and then gain success all within a year. The story begins with Stone's Mia as she auditions for parts in television shows hoping to make it as an actor. After a rough day, she wanders into a restaurant and meets a gruff pianist, Goslin's Sebastian.

Sebastian hopes to reopen his jazz club but in the meantime is forced to play Christmas songs and sit outside his old place drinking coffee and brooding. Mia hears Sebastian playing and tries to talk to him but he brushes by her. it isn't until later that they encounter one another once again. They begin a flirtatious tap dance though they still deny that there is any spark between them.

This story is a musical but the songs are spread out throughout the film interspersed with long sections of just jazz or dance. Their courtship is fun to watch as they slowly fall for each other and Mia chooses Sebastian over another man. They become a full-fledged couple as they both work towards their dreams, Mia as a playwright and Sebastian as a club owner. 

Sebastian encounter Keith (John Legend) who offers him a gig as a pianist but in a pop music band. Sebastian accepts because the money is good though he does not feel the same about the music he has to play. Mia works on her solo performance in a play she wrote herself hoping this will be her big break. Their respective careers take them in separate directions and their relationship frays. 

The final scenes have a very beautiful and enjoyable ending that is both sweet and emotional. It is easy to see why many people would pick this as their favorite movie of the year, especially those in favor of a solid romance, musical, movie-making, and the city of Los Angeles. I expect big things to come for La La Land as awards season comes around in the upcoming months. 

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