La La Land

La La Land ★★★★½

Like good jazz, this revealed a bit more the second time around. Its themes were richer, and the execution is pretty remarkable. (I can't remember the last time I genuinely thought montage editing was used this much and to this good effect.)

I am, admittedly, conflicted about the epilogue. Yes, it is a showstopper and a virtuoso bit of filming. And yes, it is consistent with the jazz-like structure of the storytelling in the way it repeats with variation. But given that "Here's to One's Who Dream" is really the climax of the film, there is an awfully long denouement.

That quibble aside, there is so much to admire here. Stone's costuming, the wry L.A. humor that isn't overdone. The understanding of the way movies inform and influence our lives--if the end is a surprise, you clearly weren't listening when she talked about Casablanca.

This is a very ambitious, adult movie, that will be well praised and may still not get the credit it deserves.

Kenneth liked this review