La La Land is described on IMDB with the tagline ‘A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.’ Rarely do I ever see a description of a film that does not do a film even the slightest bit of justice, and so over simplifies the content. Reading that line, and even the more in depth description featured on the site there’s absolutely no way I’d have gone to see this film. THANKFULLY I’m not the sort to choose on film on IMDB. For me, it’s posters, trailers, and the general feel around a film that directs me to the cinema and these were all beautiful. I was very grateful that my senses (and perhaps a little bit my girlfriend) had told me that I would enjoy this film. It was in the words of Bill and Ted…’Excellent’.
Factually, IMDB had it right, this is a film about a Jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress, but it is also so much more. It’s a truly modern musical and a truly modern love story with heartbreak, chills, bittersweet endings and a heartwarming sense of beauty that I feel is lost in a lot of modern film-making. There’s sadness without grit and depression and love without a focus on sex. It’s something different.
La La Land has gone down the route of musical, but without throwing it in your face. The opening scene makes you worry that this will be a complete throwback to the 1950’s; but the audience is soon relieved that it uses the medium sparingly and with a subtlety that adds to the growing on screen connection. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling show the on-screen connection that proved such a success in Crazy Stupid Love and a truth that has made both their careers light up. The singing wasn’t perfect, and perhaps Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s voices weren’t quite up to the level you’d expect of a stage actor or actress, but in a way it added a touch of realism and was unnoticeable for most of it.
I’m well aware La La Land won’t be for everyone, but if you love a touching love story, a bit of music or Jazz, or you’re simply in search of something unique the La La Land is for you, and as usual the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone fan clubs won’t be disappointed. It may not win the BIG awards at The Oscars, I think La La Land will win it’s fair share.
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