La La Land

8.2 IMDb
31 August 2016 Release
$ 30 000 000 Budget
128 min Duration
Genres:Comedy, Drama, Music
Year:2016
Countries:USA, Hong Kong
Director:Damien Chazelle
Writer:Damien Chazelle
8 Votes
75%

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In Hollywood, Mia and Sebastian are struggling to make it in their respective respective careers, about which each has extreme passion. Mia is an actress who dropped out of college and moved from small-town Nevada five years ago to pursue her dream. She is enamored with old-tome Hollywood - the movies she grew up on - but hates the cattle-herding feeling of going on auditions and her belief that she needs to schmooze at social events to get ahead in the business. Sebastian is a jazz pianist, his style of jazz in the vein of traditionalists Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. He wants to do his part to preserve that tradition, especially as he knows that that style of music is dying. He has trouble emotionally playing music he doesn't like just to get a paying gig. He dreams of opening his own jazz club, most specifically in what used to be a famous jazz club that has since been converted to a tapas-bar-cum-salsa-dance-club. Partly because of their individual struggles and partly because of the situations, their first few chance meetings are antagonistic. But they eventually become attracted to each other largely because of the passion for their dreams that they see in each other. But there are many obstacles to a happily-ever-after. They may be able to endure the struggling-artist life for so long before those struggles take their toll. The pursuit of their individual dreams may take all their energies with nothing left for their relationship. And any compromise each may make in getting ahead may change the person with whom each has fallen in love.

Movie Comments

  1. Floated2, 1 month ago
    La La Land since its release has received a lot of praise and due from critics and award shows, having earning several Oscar awards as well as other prestigious awards. Just as with every film that received high praise from critics and wins a ton of awards, there will be a lot of backlash and critics among casual movie goers alike. For those whom don't like too much musicals may not enjoy this film as this film offers plenty in that area. The story is well decent and the acting and visuals complete it. La La Land is quite decent but the story is something in which we have seen before (at times the film reminds of a musical version of the Notebook). Was not much of a fan of some of the musicals they had as one found them to be not as interesting and forgettable. Overall, if you are not a fan of old fashion type musicals, or predictable romance stories, La Land Land may not be for you, as one should not try to force the film to enjoy it.
  2. connordimmock, 3 weeks ago
    La La Land, produced by Marc Platt, Fred Berger and Jordan Horowitz, and expertly written as well as masterfully directed by, relative newcomer, Damien Chazelle, simply put, truly is a masterpiece and is surely destined to go down as one of the classics of this generation of filmmaking.

    This is a prime example of one of those rare films in which on every level it seems to succeed, where all elements of the film, including, performances, story, writing, direction and soundtrack come together in such a way that such a sweet ensemble of filmmaking is produced of the very highest standard. Here Chazelle, following his equally commendable outing as writer and director of the critically acclaimed Whiplash, manages to perfectly encapsulate, the magic that really made classic musicals such as, 1952's 'Singin' in the Rain' sparkle and resonate in such a magnificent sort of way. Not only does Chazelle accomplish this with La La Land he goes a step further in bringing a much needed freshness to the film (as well as the genre as a whole) making both La La Land and the musical genre relevant in the world of today.

    The brilliantly vibrant La La Land never disappoints with a dull scene, sequence or even a dull shot for that matter, and instead constantly amazes and impresses, delivering a rich tapestry of colourful, scenes, sequences and shots, all dripping with technical and artistic nuances as well as creative flair. You really can tell how much love and just how much hard work went into every scene of this project and how painstakingly it has been put together through with great editing, and fine attention to detail being paid throughout.

    Linus Sandgren (American Hustle) heads the outrageously good cinematography bringing his use of frantic yet controlled camera-work to Damien Chazelle's artistic vision. During the impressive music sequences, that look as though most are shot as whole one shot sequences, (unless there is some equally impressive editing going on) it is as though the camera is playing a cat and mouse kind of game, constantly on the move, always one step behind but always right there with the action that needs to be shot. The camera and lighting almost become dancers within the musical themselves, spinning, darting and dancing from shot to shot, punching in between characters with expert precision, creating noticeably, compelling and emotional storytelling. Transitions into musical numbers often combine the camera moving in towards the character as a subtle lighting effect of some type illuminates the character, as if this were a musical being performed on stage.

    Enough praise cannot be given to the outstanding music used within the musical, packed full of such musical delights as the quietly hopeful yet melancholy 'City of Stars' and 'Mia and Seb's Theme' as well as the more energetic and upbeat opening song 'Another Day in Sun' and the following 'Someone in the Crowd'. The musical performances of the two leads, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, can also not go without praise. Neither are professional singers, dancers or musicians, but neither are their characters, both are believable in all of their entertaining musical performances, displaying impressive vocals and particularly impressive piano playing on the part of Mr. Gosling.

    As stated above, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling head the spot on casting of the film, playing the roles of smart, headstrong, aspiring actress Mia and sarcastic, down on his luck, jazz musician and enthusiast Sebastian, respectively. Both performances are very thought out and believable and the chemistry between the two actors (this being their third film together) is so great and just adds to the overall believability of the relationship the two characters' share. At the start of their stories we find both characters at a point in their lives that they didn't expect to find themselves in, expecting or at least hoping to have been living the more glamorous life of having 'made it' by now. They are both irked with the clichés of todays Hollywood life and fed-up of being told they are not good enough, constantly finding themselves on the cusp of 'making it', but unfortunately never succeeding. More fortunately though they end up finding each other along the way, when a 'chance encounter' occurs between the two characters, sparks (eventually) fly, and a romance blossoms, through the shared exasperation of their own lives.

    The following love-affair plays out through, the four different seasons of the year, where we see not only passion for one another grow, but we also see the rekindling of the passion for each of their professions in one way or another and through the inspiration and motivation they gain off of each other, wherein lies our conflict.

    Tension is built through the conflict at the core of this love-torn romantic, musical story, which is in essence the long fought battle between ambition and love. You are made to thin that the romance of this film refers only to the romance between the two leading characters, however this is not the case. The romance of pursuing one's passion for their craft and the heartache that comes along with such passion is also an integral part of the superb narrative being told here, concluding in one of the deepest and most meaningful, as well as thought provoking, and bittersweet climaxes to a film I have seen in a long time.
  3. Bruce Lynn, 2 weeks ago
    The moral of the "La La Land" story is "you can't have your cake and it…if you are a jerk." No wonder this film was so popular in Hollywood where so many jerks abound who can feel reassured that their messed up lives are fate, not because of their own idiocy. Yes, you can have the love of your life and pursue the passion of your life…if you're not a jerk about it. And have contrived, ego-laden dinner conversations that you storm away from with the emotion maturity of a 12 year old. The very first sequence sets the two protagonists up as couple of self- absorbed jerks. And the final sequence pivots on what could have been if Sebastian hadn't been a jerk from the outset.

    But other than that, the film had all the hesitant dance steps, plot transparency, wooden acting (except Emma Stone), off-key singing, and simplistic 2 chord tune drilled into the ground of a college amateur production.