La La Land: "This Is The Dream! It's Conflict And It's Compromise"

Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer:     Damien Chazelle 
Starring: Emma Stone
                Ryan Gosling
                John Legend
                J.K. Simmons
                Finn Wittrock
                Rosemarie DeWitt
                Tom Everett Scott
Rating:    *****

Release Date: Out Now 

There was a time when movie musicals were ruling the cinemas and creating huge stars. Over at MGM, the likes of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Debbie Reynolds were becoming huge stars, and their movies were raking in money, awards and audiences. That was the golden age of cinema.

Eventually those movies died out, and movie musicals now are mainly remakes of stage shows, but don't have that classic magic. Enter La La Land. Damien Chazelle had the dream to recreate the feeling that those movie once gave millions of people. The music, the dance sequences and the story are something straight from the likes of Singing in the Rain or An American in Paris; they re wonderful and emotive and completely worthy of the rave reviews they have been receiving.

Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone
Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as Mia and Sebastian, La La Land is a love letter. It is a love letter to the movies of yesteryear, to the stars who inspired performers today and of course to the characters on screen. Stone and Gosling take you on a epic journey of love, dreaming and music; conveying true passion and emotion with every breath, step-ball-change and duet. Their chemistry is something of beauty, and the pair of them are truly the epitome of the perfect match. 

La La Land is their third film together, and they always work superbly as a pair. They also shine in their own individual performances. Mia is a barista dreaming of becoming  Hollywood a actress and Sebastian is a jazz pianist who wants to open his own jazz bar and inspire future musicians; sadly neither are finding the success they deserve, and through this they bond.

Emma Stone is a natural performer, and always has been. Able to jump from comedy, drama and action at any given moment; her versatility knows no bounds. She gives Mia subtlety, class and grace, but never loses her strength and determination as the story goes on. Ryan Gosling matches Stones performance, creating a suave, cheeky and caring man, who tries to do what he feels is best, even if that means sacrificing his dreams.

John Legend
It is no wonder they have both received Golden Globe awards for their portrayals (the film scored seven Globes, the most of any film...ever), and not only do they act with ease, but they sing and dance effortlessly. Seeing Tap and Ballroom back on the big screen fills me with so much happiness, and to see it done so beautifully is even better.

The original music, composed and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz and lyrics by Pasek and Paul, is iconic. Full of nostalgia and oozing jazz, yet complementing the modern setting, creating a dreamy haze over La La Land itself. The vocals are raw and pleasing, with Stone and Gosling commanding the audiences attention, and even John Legend gets his chance to shine on the slightly more modern and juxtaposing, Start a Fire.

I am sure that this is going to rake in even more awards, including the highly coveted Oscars, and it is more than deserved. A beautiful tribute to cinema past that gives me similar feelings to 2011's The Artist; La La Land is a musical triumph that will go down in cinema history. 

La La Land - Trailer