Review: La La Land (2017)


This stylish, exuberant crowd-pleaser spectacularly revitalises the sorely missed Hollywood musical. In it, two aspiring artists – Mia and Sebastian, played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling – fall in love, while each pursuing their dreams of success in LA. Damien Chazelle, who last made Whiplash, infuses an abundance of warmth and charm into this love story, which emerges from a big-scale highway dance number. The script charts the highs and lows of life and love through the eyes of these individuals, who are both empathetic idealists. That’s in part thanks to the performances. Gosling radiates seducing wit, while Stone taps into Mia’s vulnerability with such heartbreaking emotion. It’s as if these two are made for one another, which makes the chemistry their characters share light up the whole screen. The same can be said for the music. The songs are big and flashy on the outside, but tender expressions of euphoria, heartache, and hopefulness. Chazelle ties all these elements, including colourful cinematography, to make an irresistible feast for the eyes, ears and heart. Here’s to the dreamers indeed.

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