La La Land.
Director: Damien Chazelle.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone.
“I’m always gonna love you." -Sebastian to Mia.
This is by far the best film I have ever seen in recent years, with it ranking number 2 before Goodfellas in my top 50 of all time.
Ever since the first, incredibly vibrant La La Land teaser was released, i have been looking forward to seeing it. Although, at some point i did think "Is this Oscar bait?" but i can fully assure you, it certainly is not. La La Land, to put it simply, is a masterpiece.
I will however start by saying, if you enjoyed Whiplash, you will adore La La Land. It isn't as intense as Whiplash, but it follows a similar structure with certain events that occur in the film. And that is not a bad thing at all.
The tagline for this film was "Here's to the fools who dream." and those words spoke to me, it made me think, we may all be dreamers and we may not get anywhere, but we can still work towards things and be imaginitave and creative in our own ways.
The performances in this film are incredible. Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Sebastian, a passionate Jazz enthuasiast and pianist is deeply moving, and gorgeous. A man of many talents, and when he plays that piano, you can't help but admire the time and commitment he put into creating such a wonderful, music loving character.
Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring actress, loved up with 60s Hollywood, walking out on dates and dancing.
Stone gives a very strong performance, and in some instances had my jaw wide open. The undeniable scintillating chemistry between Stone and Gosling is outstanding, and definetly a duo performance overall to remember. The scene where they do "A Lovely Night" is by far one of the best choreographed dance scene i have ever seen since Singin' in the Rain or any film for that matter. It made me cry just by how fantastic it was and how beautiful it was crafted.
But in this film, music is the very heart and soul that keeps it going.
Damien Chazelle's burning passion for Jazz has never faded which i love, and the music in this is probably the best soundtrack for a film i've ever heard personally. Justin Hurwitz returns alongside Chazelle as he composed the score for Whiplash, and he absolutely nailed it. Some songs I don't think i will ever forget. There is one scene that takes place on a highway involving music, and i don't think i've ever seen something as stunning, so outrageously daring in a film ever. And that scene is a tracking shot, Chazelle pulled it off excellently which led to a brilliant sequence.
"The End" by Justin Hurwitz had me in tears as its beautiful crescendo echoed through my ears and found its way to my heart, like the entire film ended up doing. Also, "Planetarium" is gorgeously composed, and a deeply moving, euphoric addition to the long line of incredible original songs used in the movie.
Both Stone and Gosling get their share of the limelight, as Gosling performs the award winning song 'City of Stars' which to me, is a very good song but personally Emma Stone's 'Audition (The Fools who Dream) takes the cake for me and should be nominated instead of City of Stars. Both songs are amazing in their own way, but Stone's emotive, fantastically moving Audition is a classic, and will always be the song i remember most from this film, from the lyrics, to the music, to the intensity and heartbreak in Stone's vocals, it's just spectacular in every sense of the word.
The cinematography is exquisite. Linus Sandgren uses a certain shot in a scene taking place in a Planetarium, accompanied by the score, which made my jaw drop and cry at how stunning it was. A lot of wide shots were used, but i liked that as it showed the entirety of where the characters are. The tracking shot at the highway was simply incredible, and something very, very hard to do and it was an absolutely unforgettable scene.
Damien Chazelle has created a thought provoking, sun-drenched, poignant, effervescent, euphoric cinematic experience which will never be forgotten for audiences to come. It's heartbreaking, and effortlessly beautiful.
HERE'S TO THE FOOLS WHO DREAM!