A love story of a wannabe actress and jazz musician set in the City of Angels. Sounds like you’ve heard and seen that before? Don’t rush to say yes.
Even though La La Land has brought the classic Hollywood musical back from the dusty shelves of the genre, it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. Directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), starring Emma Stone (Mia Dolan) and Ryan Gosling (Sebastian Wilder), the movie is not only stuck in the box office, our heads or Spotify playlists. But in our dreams as well.
With 7 Golden Globes in the basket, 11 BAFTA nominations and Oscars to fill the list of potential awards on the 24th of January, the musical was an old dream of the man behind the lens – Damien Chazelle. “He was so passionate about making one again, not just the nostalgic, those were the days kind of film, but you know, he felt there’s a way to make them feel relevant,” said Ryan Gosling.
The idea of an old school musical, which was recalled as disastrous by Chazelle himself, was developed in over six years. And the cast gave 100 percent to fulfil the director’s dream while mastering the arts of dance and music. “Those are Ryan’s hands all the time. He’s playing the jazz piano and he learnt it from scratch for the film. I just think it’s amazing,” acknowledged Emma Stone, who was pretty convinced by her teachers that Gosling is the better tap dancer from the duo. “But when I saw him, I told myself – I got this,” laughed the actress.
The unconditional trust in the cast and risk taking (you’ll see what I mean after the first 20 seconds of the movie, which were set in the middle of an LA motorway) paid off. The result – colourful masterpiece which is a treat to your eyes and ears as you can’t take your glimpse from blissful dance routines, classy but contemporary costumes, the electrifying chemistry built by Stone and Gosling, as well as the music which’ll be playing on your playlist for days to come. Go on, admit it.
The compelling storytelling, which starts playing on the emotional chords of viewers like a piano itself, built a finale that some may find unfairly beautiful, and shed a tear or two. Ultimately, the movie is an ode for dreamers, carrying the message translated in Stone’s “Audition” song: here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem, here’s to the hearts that ache, here’s to the mess we make.
This won’t be my last trip to the dreamy La La Land. Plan yours.