Movie Review: La La Land

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La La Land


Director: Damien Chazelle
Lionsgate
In theaters: 12.16

Thanks to the brilliance of director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), his latest production spotlights the grandiose musicals of the 1950s in spectacular fashion. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is an aspiring jazz musician who desperately wants to open his own club, and Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress working at a Hollywood-studio coffee shop. The two meet, sparks fly and lives change all in the course of a year. If you are a fan of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly’s genre of film, you will be in absolute heaven in the first two minutes, thanks to a remarkable opening number on the Los Angeles freeway. Aside from the amazingly talented Gosling and Stone, Chazelle hits everything with perfection, from the set design and lighting to the score and costumes. As I walked out of the screening, I had a smile beaming from ear to ear and a skip in my step. While La La Land pays respect to films from 60 years ago, it remains planted in modern times and also refrains from being a predictable studio production. As I write this, we’re still early in the award season of movies, but if this stunning masterpiece were to take the grand prize, I would not be surprised. In a nutshell, go see this movie as soon as possible. It will give you hope in humanity again and give your heart an extra beat for love. –Jimmy Martin