What dreams may come?
It’s Oscar season again, and one of the top candidates for just about every award is the new Musical, La La Land, but I suppose the real question is, what’s all the song and dance about?
Musicals are an odd thing. They are a genre all to themselves, apart from the fact that they have musical numbers in them, sung by characters on screen, they can have any other elements or plot devices they choose. They are a genre without limits, that’s how La La Land choose to live it’s short life, without limitations. That is what makes it spellbinding, there is something that makes the movie feel both nostalgic and modern simultaneously, and what’s incredible about La La Land is that it makes everything look effortless.
That is how you can tell that Damien Chazelle is a true master of Hollywood, one of the last Alters left is Damien Chazelle. Every piece of work he creates is stunning and brutal in equal quantities, he is a filmmaker that is fearless.
His pervious work Whiplash took everyone by surprise and La La Land is no different. In La La Land, Chazelle has created a relatable musical that is as much about loss as it is about love. Every single movie Chazelle directs is about how far humans will go to achieve their dreams.
Somehow between the romance, Gene Kelly numbers and Ryan Gosling’s keyboard ties, La La Land still makes time to be funny. I know that might not sound ground breaking, but it’s all the little touches in the film that make it such an outstanding overall piece. These are the times that will stay with you when you think back to what La La Land really meant, you’ll think of a couple of seconds that meant nothing, but in reality spoke to you personally.
Of course, in a musical the songs should be mentioned at some point, so for my money they are invocative, clever and all contribute to the overall story, they are cleanly embedded into the film so nothing feels misplaced with the rest of the narrative or the tone of the scene.
While La La Land does have several minor actors in it, this is really a two hander between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. There is rarely a scene where at least one of the pair are in. If I had to describe their on screen romance, I would call it “organic”. Emma Stone plays the hopeless romantic with lofty dreams with truth and honesty whilst Ryan Gosling plays the obsessive arrogant perfectionist with enough style that you just can’t allow yourself to hate him ever. Even when he hates himself we still hold out hope for him.
La La Land is a film that we both wanted and needed. It is uplifting, and honest. It is a film that proves that sometimes to truly live your dreams you have to give up on your reality. In short, unmissable.