La La Land (2016) Movie Review

By: Movie Snurb (A Toast) –

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress who ends up running into Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist, in a traffic jam. From there they end up running into each other again and again and then eventually begin to fall in love with one another. All Mia wants to do is become an actress like her Aunt. Sebastian wants to own his own jazz club to play whatever he’d want to play and not the “trash” of today’s music. What a better way to chase their dreams and fall in love than sing? This is such a charming and wonderful homage musical to the Golden Age of film.

A Toast

The music and dancing in this film is remarkable. As well the music should be in a musical; if your music is terrible then your film will be atrocious. Justin Hurwitz’ composition is marvelous; Whiplash was amazing and Hurwitz really stepped it up for La La Land. You’ll find yourself several times tapping your toes along to the wonderful music. Especially during “Start a Fire” sung by John Legend- I had to restrain myself from getting up and dancing. The music of this film is so enchanting that you’ll be toe-tapping and have a goofy smile on your face by the end of the film.

The acting is so brilliant. Emma and Ryan give 150% in every scene of this film. It’s as almost as if they were born to play Mia and Sebastian, but when you really think about it, they were really born to play love interests in film. I hope audiences can appreciate what we have with Emma and Ryan. I believe they are our generation’s Bogart and Bacall. Their chemistry makes every romance they portray believable and we want to root for them, because either we relate to them or we want to be them. Either way it’s just beautiful and watching them dance together is something special we can take away from the dismal year.

The cinematography in this film is gorgeous. The beautiful set pieces and costumes Director Damien Chazelle and DP Linus Sandgren were able to capture in sprawling shots. Also the long takes and tracking shots they were able to pull off looked seamless and impressive. The opening scene when “Another Day of Sun” is sang and the tracking shot while everyone is dancing and singing upon and between cars was incredible. Then again during the song “Someone in the Crowd” at the party when Mia and Sebastian run into each other for a third time. These scenes might not have been complete long takes or single tracking shots, but they pulled off making it look like them. It makes these scenes and the film that much more impressive. There are just a multitude of shots in this film that are beautiful, from the dancing and singing during “A Lovely Night”, which will become an iconic scene for years to come, to the planetarium dance sequence. The shots in this film are tear-enducingly beautiful.

Mark my words, this will be a classic shot for years to come.

This film is why we go to the movies. It’s a perfect two hours of escapism. We all look for ways to escape from real life every once in a while. Whether it’s through film, a book, or other arts, we all look to escape. This film is escapism perfected. It’s a wonderful film to go see in the theaters and lose yourself for two hours. This is what films used to be like in the Golden Age of film.

La La Land hearkens back to the Golden Age of film when musicals almost dominated the scene. You can tell Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz loved this age of film and want to show their appreciation for this era and what they made was truly a remarkable homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. I can’t wait to see what these two come up with next.

It’s almost sickening how charming these two are.


La La Land is why we love to go to the movies and what proper escapism looks like. This film is so charming with its music, Emma and Ryan, and shots and colors, that if you don’t find yourself somehow entranced by this film I believe you don’t have a soul.

La La Land (2016) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time they play Mia and Sebastian’s theme.

Take a Drink: every time you think about how adorable Ryan and Emma are.

Do a Shot: every time you’re tapping along with the music.

Do a Shot: every time Sebastian is teased for liking jazz.

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