LA LA LAND (film) is breathtaking and exquisitely powerful

LA LA LAND - 2016
Director: Damien Chazelle.
Cast: Ryan Gosling/ Emma Stone
Content Rating: PG13 for some language.
Source: Rented.

A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

When I sat down to watch this film, I was already suffocating on high expectations and overwhelming anticipation. I'd been dying to see it for months - months. I was terrified I would be disappointed, or worse, see the "flaws" some of the public had called out.
But no. I fell in love. And those songs and that story have been floating round my head ever since, engulfing me in a dreamy aftermath.
I love this movie.

The atmosphere is dazzling.  The whole movie is reminiscent of the charm and spirit of old Hollywood, and is vibrant, electric, and utterly seductive. The sets are masterfully constructed, the cinematography fizzy, and the dialogue captivating and extremely engrossing.
But I was especially blown away by Chazelle's incredibly thoughtful and exquisite direction. He is an excellent director in every sense of the word, and the more I watched the more I appreciated the choices he made. Just wow.

The music is beautiful. Gosling and Stone aren't amazing singers, but their characters aren't meant to be, and so it works perfectly. The choreography is effortless and tight, and the songs themselves are one minute heartbreaking and then suddenly bursting with life and energy. The music is so sweeping and catchy,  and my only regret is that most of the songs didn't last as long as I'd liked them to.

THE ACTING BLEW MY MIND. I'm a fan of both Ryan and Emma anyway, but I thought their performances were especially amazing in this film. Their exhilarating chemistry and adorable exchanges made me laugh and cry, and I was spellbound under their magic. They are unbelievably shippable, and I am not lying when I say some of their romantic scenes actually gave me goosebumps.
But while they are an irresistible duo, their individuality is also brilliant.  Emma always amazes me with her incredible realness and lack of ego, and her performance comes across so achingly raw and honest. She put her heart and soul into this role, and it shows.
Ryan is equally fantastic. I usually find that he, unlike Emma, brings a lot of ego to the roles he plays (although it could be the characters he typically portrays) but I was shocked by how down-to-earth and natural his performance was in La La Land. I think he gave one of the best performances of his career, and he certainly wowed me just as much - maybe even more so - than Emma did.

Their characters are also amazing. The character development is effortless, and Mia and Sebastian are two of the most vivid, relatable characters I've ever seen in a film.

I loved how down-to-earth and real this film is. Its theme - "here's to the fools that dream" - resonated deeply with me, and I just adored how Chazelle didn't glitz it up and instead dug deep into the gritty realness of Mia and Sebastian's situation and their lives and their dreams. It's a story - a message - for all of us; the writers, the artists, the actors, the singers, the designers...everyone. The way they handled this theme and the way Emma and Ryan portrayed it, made the movie not feel like a movie at all. It felt like life.
There's so much passion, so much emotion, so much heart and love in this film that it soars upwards while at the same time never losing sight of those below.

The only thing I found disappointing was the ending. I know why they chose the course they did and I know that had it ended another way it might not have been so powerful and thought-provoking, but I was personally heartbroken. I don't want to give spoilers, so let me do it in code: "I like my boats to float." *wink wink*

La La Land is breathlessly real and beautiful, and Gosling and Stone are intensely genuine in their dynamic roles. This film is compelling and inspiring, and its thought-provoking, hopeful, and relatable story is haunting and gorgeous. 


  1. I really loved this movie as well! While I didn't think it should have been nominated for best picture at the oscars, the cinematography was incredible as well as the music!

    1. Yay I'm so glad!
      The cinematography and music were incredible :) And I thought it deserved the nomination, actually.
      Thanks for the comment, Emily!

  2. The ending broke my heart so much, and the Epilogue sequence just made me bawl. I really hope that the talks of potentially turning this into a Broadway musical would become a reality, because it'd bring back the magic again.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    1. Same!! It was heartbreaking :(
      That would be amazing! I hope they do that :)
      Thanks for stopping by, Abby!

  3. I love this film so much! The ending broke my heart, but I think that it was a good ending for the story :-)

    1. YAY! Yeah mine too, but you're right. I guess it worked well for the story :)

  4. Oh I loved this movie to bits as well! You're right, they aren't amazing singers but they definitely hold their own. I thought the singing number at the beginning was kind of out of sync with the rest of the movie? It was a beautifully done plot, and I loved the ending twist. I also really liked the general dynamics of their relationship together, and how it is about ambition and everything!

    1. YAY!! And yeah, they definitely did :)
      True, I actually thought that as well. That beginning did feel a bit..."off". Glad it improved, though!
      Yes yes yes!! So glad you think so as well!
      Thanks for stopping by, Olivia :)

  5. Yeah ... I agree ... I watched it with my daughter and we both were like "WHAT?" ... but what was awesome was the discussion we had ... was it HIS dream or HER dream ... maybe it was both ... My favorite part of the movie was how they created such a colorful palette for the "dreamy" scenes and the more "real" it got the more the colors washed out ... yeah ... cool

    1. Yeah totally :)
      And yay, that's so cool you could discuss it with her! I watched alone :(
      Oh yes! That was utterly beautiful!
      Thanks for stopping by, Rachel :)