La La Land review

From the director of the Oscar-winning Whiplash, Damien Chazelle brings another masterpiece in the form of the beautifully executed La La Land.

It’s a typical boy meets girl story about Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone), who are both pursuing their dreams. Mia is a barista looking for her big break as an actress and Sebastian a musician who just wants to play jazz. As fate brings them together we’re all along for the journey and what an enjoyable one it will be.

Opening with a tremendous musical number on the LA freeway, the tone is set from the first scene that this will be something of a throwback to classic Hollywood moviemaking. Though this is a musical it manages to be beautifully balanced between song and dance numbers and a strong compelling narrative. So, for those not usually keen on this genre, you’ll be pleased to hear that the film never feels ‘musical’ heavy.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are very impressive as our modern day Ginger Roger and Fred Astaire. Together they create a mesmerising on screen chemistry that keeps the audience hooked as we get fully invested in this gorgeous romance story.

The direction carries you through this love story with ease with just enough escapism, yet manages to never feel cheesy or forced. The music itself is highly emotive and just adds to everything that is classy about this film. Perfectly selected block colour costumes mean you’ll also have fashion envy for our key protagonists.

La La Land is a touching heartfelt homage to films of the classic era of Hollywood and breaths new cinematic life into musical movies. When we watch older Hollywood classics to escape the superhero fest of modern cinema we find ourselves thinking ‘they don’t make ‘em like that anymore’, well actually they do and they have right here in LA LA Land. A perfectly delivered slice of modern cinema with more than a nostalgic nod to the stars and movies of yesteryear.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar & Ian Wright.

5 stars