La La Land

La La Land ★★★★★

One of the thirty greatest films ever made, and I have no bones in making that kind of tall declaration. You can say you had a good time with “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady” and “Chicago” without feeling you ever had to see them a second time. La La Land is the greatest commercial musical of the last 63 years (since 1953’s “The Band Wagon”), made with dazzling numbers, verbal wit that’s terse and not overwritten, charisma by jazz renegade Ryan Gosling and improv darling Emma Stone, a dreamy ending that out-Kaufmans Charlie Kaufman, and sparkling a reminder of the butterflies in the stomach of first real love. Damien Chazelle has crafted it all with such love and ingenuity and luster and sumptuousness that you just don’t fall for it; you let it come and hum inside you every day since you’ve first seen it.

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