La La Land

La La Land ★★★★½

Honestly just sitting here wondering when the heck did swooning escapist romanticism be cinema's biggest bad guy, especially given how bittersweet the movie is willing to be to leaven its own dreaminess by quiet ways like bringing more distance between the music as the characters recognize their disillusion or Chazelle knowing full well what using THAT shade of green will make the film fans think of. All of that on top of the way that the movie uses star chemistry, camera movement, cutting ("Someone in the Crowd" having a wonderful usage of dissolve as a way of giving Time its own dance move as a concept; the introduction to jazz that Seb gives Mia almost rivals the "Caravan" performance in Whiplash for showing an energetic fascination with the piecemeal impact of music), and color to throw us all around between infatuation and melancholy and recognize the appeal in that whirlwind ("Another Day of Sun" is a painfully misunderstood song that introduces this concept in the most literal terms possible but still gets painted as this airheaded "I love Los Angeles" song).

Would that more movies have the same amount of visual passion for its interests the same way that La La Land does - whether it's about jazz, it's about movies, it's about living in the city, it's about the stars, it's about spending time with someone - maybe we would actually be able to chill.

(previously reviewed on Motorbreath)

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