Review: La La Land (2016)

Three words: Imaginative, Inspirational, Magical. That’s pretty much the best way that I can sum up „La La Land“ by Damien Chazelle. The story of struggling actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling Jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who find each other in the midst of Los Angeles and their embarking love story, is a nod as well as a little tease towards Hollywood, its films and the business behind the scenes. (I don’t even wanna know how many artists in L.A. sat in the theater sighing, while seeing scenes from their own lives up on that screen.)

„La La Land“ is not a simple musical movie. It’s surprising, funny but also direct and heartbreaking. As made up as some of the characters, even Mia and Sebastian at some times, seem, there is a surprising honesty in them, that makes them believable. While Emma Stone, shines as struggling actress, dancing and fighting with her inner self, Gosling would have been perfectly cast, if it wasn’t for the singing. Sadly, and I do love Mr. Gosling very much and respect him as an amazing actor, I couldn’t really look at or listen to him sing. My whole body kind of cringed. Luckily the rest of his performance is wonderful and therefore the film is not ruined, not at all. It takes you on a magical journey and if you let yourself go, you can fly with Stone and Gosling, quite literally, to the stars.

The nod towards old Hollywood, those dreamlike sequences, the lighting, mixed with the modern sense of, for example, a Prius, was done to perfection. It’s a beautiful story, dreamlike and still captivating, really taking you on a small little adventure. Even if you haven’t been to L.A., you might get a pretty good sense of the City of Angeles and, what it must be like in Hollywood, through the film.

With a gorgeous Soundtrack, that gets stuck in your head for hours or even days after you’ve seen the film, and beautiful small, little dance scenes the film doesn’t strive for extravagance but keeps it pretty real (and sometimes in lots of cliches). Still, it’s the message that delivers this film to your heart and therefore is well deserving of all the praise and nominations. And most likely, to give itself a little pat on the back, Hollywood will reward „La La Land“ with the Best Picture Award at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. But, there are strong contenders, so we will see.

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