Film Review: 'La La Land'

Mike Scott, my-huawei.com | The Times-Picayune Published Dec 14, năm 2016 at 4:30 am | Updated Jul 7, 2021 at 11:13 am Published Dec 14, năm nhâm thìn at 4:30 am | Updated Jul 7, 2021 at 11:13 am
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Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


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Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


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Ryan Gosling và Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


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Director Damien Chazelle, left, and actress Emma Stone discuss a scene on the phối of Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinettte/Lionsgate)



Ryan Gosling stars in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


An image from the opening sequence of director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Director Damien Chazelle, left, và actor Ryan Gosling go over a scene on the set of Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinettte/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling and Rosemarie Dewitt star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling stars in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling, right, & John Legend, in a scene from director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling và Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Director Damien Chazelle, on the set of his musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinettte/Lionsgate)


Emma Stone stars in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling và Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


Ryan Gosling và Emma Stone star in director Damien Chazelle"s musical romance/comedy "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)


It gets said a lot, usually by your grandma or some other disapproving gray-hair: "They don"t make "em like that anymore." It"s something of a catch-all complaint, one that can be applied to any number of things: cars, appliances, songs, men and, at least as often as anything else, movies.

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Much of the time, the speaker has really only forgotten just how frequently bad the "good" old days were. But sometimes -- rarely, but sometimes -- they"re dead-on right. Which makes movies lượt thích director Damien Chazelle"s enormously entertaining "La La Land" that much more enchanting.

A deft blend of long-gone filmmaking style with decidedly modern sensibilities, Chazelle"s break-out-in-song musical romance -- complete with MGM-flavored musical numbers và giddily old-fashioned dance sequences -- is, indeed, the kind of movie they don"t make any more (at least not on this side of 1979"s "The Muppet Movie"). Consequently, it"s something to lớn be cherished.


In this case, that"s easy to lớn do. Assuming you"ve got even the slightest affection for the ghosts of Hollywood"s past, "La La Land" is the kind of film you"ll watch with a smile plastered lớn your face for much of its running time.

Part of the charm is the perfect pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as the film"s lead characters -- he"s a struggling jazz musician, she"s a struggling actress -- who meet và fall head over heels in love in modern-day L.A. They"re not exactly Fred & Ginger or Gene and Cyd, but, with their easy chemistry ("La La Land" marks their third big-screen pairing) and their shared likability, they"re plenty close enough.

As perfect as their characters are together, they naturally hit a rough patch. Also naturally, we"re left lớn wonder if their relationship will endure. & even though we"ve seen stories like this before, the surprisingly funny & thoroughly charming "La La Land" doesn"t feel at all threadbare. It"s old-fashioned but not dated. It"s built on formula but it never feels tired. It"s unmistakable fantasy, but with realistic underpinnings. Và it"s relentlessly sentimental without becoming cloying.

More than anything, it"s Chazelle"s flawless dedication to lớn his vision that makes "La La Land" soar, and which sees it double as a love letter lớn Los Angeles and its Dream Factory past.

That starts with the old-school Cinemascope hình ảnh at the film"s start. Chazelle underscores his throwback intentions with magical, miraculous opening dance number, "Another Day of Sun," which unspools as one, seemingly uninterrupted four-minute take amid the gridlock of an elevated, bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles freeway.

It"s the perfect introduction to lớn his movie, in both its break-out-in-song style và its here"s-to-the-dreamers sentiments. It"s the kind of peerless sequence that I can imagine will spur audiences lớn break out in spontaneous applause. From there, Chazelle and company are off và running.

Most film buffs knew that the 31-year-old Chazelle was a filmmaker lớn watch after seeing his impressive and intense sophomore effort, 2014"s "Whiplash," which earned an Oscar for supporting actor J.K. Simmons (and who plays a small role in "La La Land"). Still, there really wasn"t anything there lớn suggest Chazelle would be capable of pulling off something of this màn chơi of virtuosity.


But here it is.

As "La La Land" steamrolls its way through Hollywood"s award season, you can expect it lớn challenge in any number of Oscar categories. There"s the screenplay, which Chazelle wrote & which is built on crackling & clever dialog. There"s Linus Sandgren"s sparkling cinematography, which makes modern-day L.A. Appear every bit as thắm thiết as yesteryear"s. There"s Justin Hurwitz"s score, with its infectious hook that you"ll be humming when you leave the theater. There"s the editing, the costumes, the performances.

In addition lớn all that, it"s got chutzpah, expanding this weekend against "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," a film that is guaranteed lớn win the box office. But "La La Land" is a movie about the value of dreaming, so maybe that"s only appropriate.

Besides, those who go see "La La Land" will get their own guarantee, of mood-lifting, toe-tapping entertainment. Simply, this is a movie that will make you feel good. That"s no small thing given that it comes at the tail end of a year that didn"t offer too much lớn feel good about.

That doesn"t go only for fans of musical theaters, either. "La La Land" is a film with strikingly broad appeal. Whether you"re a "Star Wars" geek or a hopeless romantic, a jazz fan or somebody who complains they just don"t make "em like they used lớn anymore, you"ll la-la love it.

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LA LA LAND

5 stars, out of 5

Snapshot: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in a musical comedy/romance about a struggling jazz musician who falls in love with a struggling actress in modern-day Los Angeles, only to see their relationship threatened by their own success.

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Cast: Stone, Gosling, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Tom Everett Scott, Rosemarie DeWitt, John Legend. Director: Damien Chazelle. MPAA rating: PG-13, for some language. Running time: 2 hours 8 minutes. Where: Find New Orleans showtimes.

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