La La Land

La La Land ★★★★

I quite liked La La Land, but I'm not as warm on this film as the critics and general audience seems to be. Firstly, I'm really impressed that this movie nods to a bygone era of cinema, without fully mimicking.

For example, the film could be divided into two halves, the "traditional" musical arc, which culminates in the kiss between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's characters. If this was any other musical film, it would have ended at the circular fade - but this film then continues on to become something more gritty and real.

I do have a pacing problem with this film, and it runs a bit longer than it should, with one to many dream dance sequences. A more tightly edited piece would have reduced this from over 2 hours to 90 minutes - resulting in a better product.

Damien Chazelle's direction is kinetic and brings the energy that a film about jazz needs, and was evident in 2015's Whiplash - which I believe to be a more superior product.

Unfortunately, I find Gosling to be the more engaging screen presence here, and find Emma Stone passable but probably miscast. Others may be more justified in their belief which has resulted in her winning an Oscar - however, I don't think she was right for the movie.

Overall, I enjoy La La Land's respect of the past, whilst incorporating the future. The film perfectly reflects John Legend's monologue that we have to adapt to preserve certain genres. It did have some pacing and casting problems, but for the most part I had a lot of toe-tapping fun.

Peter liked this review