La La Land Review SPOILERS!
So where to start with this year’s most critically acclaimed film, La La Land. The romantic, musical, comedy, drama certainly lives up to it’s early success and hype within the film industry.
The story is based around two characters. An aspiring actress in Hollywood called Mia (Emma Stone) and a jazz pianist called Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). The story centre’s around their love for one another. But something that makes this film so unique is that the main focus is perhaps the most reoccurring thought that follows in our life and that is to not give up. To achieve our dreams.
“Here’s to the ones who dream,
Foolish as they may seem”-Mia
The musical elements of this film not only let us as the audience connect more intimately with the characters but moves the story in such a way that the songs connect with us. The musical moments are very much the highlight of this film and are visually amazing and well planned. A common song throughout the film is called ‘City of Stars’. This song reprises quite a few times throughout the film but one of the first times we hear this song is when Sebastian is whistling the melody while walking along a pier. The shot is visually stunning along with the warm colour palette painted across the sky, the strong lyrics and superb acting from Mr Ryan Gosling it definitely makes for one of the many stand out moments within this film.
Another stand out moment within this film is the first dance number between Mia and Sebastian. With the song ‘A Lonely Night’ playing, the two characters are trying to find their cars until they slowly begin to break out into a big dance number. Entwined with brilliant acting, comedic moments and a wonderful retro feel to the set this shot has to be my absolute favourite. This song focuses around them omitting their like for one another and happens fairly close to the start of the movie after just a few brief encounters with each other. It makes for an interesting dynamic, one in which Gosling and Stone achieve to the highest of standard making the story line stay with you for a long time. As it does include their now known famous pose (featured on all the posters and adverts) it won’t be forgotten easily.
Within this film it’s clear to see the amount of effort and organisation that went into the production of this movie. The wonderful sets married well with the scenes and allowed for mostly aesthetically pleasing shots. Along with the primary colours and many array of costumes the scenes did not have a fault. Of Course La La Land started out as a Broadway show and something that Damien Chazelle (he screenplay writer) wanted was to take the idea of the film and “take the old musical but ground it in real life where things don’t always exactly work out,”. Old Hollywood has been brought to life perfectly and the result simply takes your breath away.
In my opinion, La La Land is honestly brilliant but something that makes this film out-standing is the shock and twist at the end.
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
As said previously, the film follows the love story of Mia and Sebastian, two people trying to achieve their dreams in L.A but after concluding that they can’t achieve there dreams whilst being together they agree that they will always love each other and let each other go. Now just before this shocking decision is made we see Sebastian start to drive back to his original dream of opening a jazz cafe and Mia entering an audition after she was scouted at her own one woman show. Now if that part doesn’t have you sobbing then the next bit defiantly will.
The film cuts forward to five years later and Mia got the part she auditioned for and is now a successful actress. She comes home to kiss her then husband (Played by Tom Everett Scott) as well as interacting with her baby girl Chelsea. We then follow Mia and her husband on a date where they stop outside of a cafe and enter after hearing just a bit of the music. It’s not until Mia spots the logo of the club that she realises where she is. It’s Sebastian’s club.
She takes a seat and as Sebastian comes on the stage to thank his musical guest, he spots her sitting in the crowd. They lock eyes but proceeds to talk and play their song. We as the audience then see some re-shot scenes with Sebastian replacing her husband as they go through the final dance number. We are then brought back to reality and see tears float in both of their eyes but Mia signals to her husband that it’s time to go. She follows him out of the club not before looking back, locking eyes once more and giving a small nod and a smile as if to say goodbye. Mia turns to leave and Sebastian turns back to his piano and plays another melody as the film closes.
At this point I was in hysterics. It was such a unique and out-standing ending, one that I definitely did not expect. After rooting for two characters to be together throughout the whole movie and then for that not to happen was in a way crushing but at the same time lead to them achieving their dreams and still being happy.
This film and its powerful message is what makes it one of my favourite films of all time hands down. The only fault I have with this film is, well it’s not really a fault it’s more of an annoyance, is I can’t stop playing the soundtrack (on repeat) and I think my flat mates are starting to notice. Yikes! But I don’t care dancing and singing to the songs. It’s what makes the film what it is and just by the fact I’m still heavily obsessed with this film after I’ve seen it twice proves how spectacular I personally think it is.
So, do you agree with my review or have anything you’d like to add? Feel free to drop us some comments below and share, share, share!
This film is showing across the UK now so book your tickets and strap in for quite the emotional ride.