Wednesday, December 28, 2016

La La Land

Release Date: Dec 09, 2016
Runtime: 2 hr. 7 min.
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan GoslingEmma StoneJohn Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons.

Rarely has a film been so spellbinding, nostalgic and wondrously inspiriting than "La La Land," a melodic masterpiece destined for the stars. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle and composed by Justin Hurwitz, the duo delivers another knockout production of musical achievement. Whether you enjoy musicals or not, it's hard not to appreciate the gravitational pull of each magical number. Set against iconic landmarks of dreamy Los Angeles, the story of Sebastian and Mia unfolds in conducted succession. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are the defining embodiment of old Hollywood, perfectly paired and evocative of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Where Gosling lacks in vocal strength, he makes up for in charm, while Stone is a bona-fide performer. Together they tackle the pitfalls of love, dreams and everything in between –  a cliched story of sorts if not for the score. Hurwitz's fusion of contemporary and jazz blends seamlessly with topnotch choreography and gorgeous cinematography. Whether it's the captivating melody of "Mia & Sebastian's Theme," the mellow duet of "City of Stars," or even the toe-tapping spectacle of "Someone In The Crowd," the film is not short of memorable tunes. Chazelle directs with effortless precision –  an admirable feat for someone so young. Following the success of "Whiplash" and now this second feature, it's suffice to say he has a promising road ahead. While most great films invoke thought and reflection, not all can quite linger like "La La Land."

 Rating: 5 stars 

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