Gabrielle’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here's to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem...
When the opening sequence went by and the title LA LA LAND popped up on the screen, I was so happy I was there, in the theater, watching that. I was so happy that I didn't wait for it to leak. I was so happy that for once I wasn't alone, since Vicentini hasn't been able to go to the movies with me since fucking Suicide Squad I think. At that moment, on that seat, I thought: "This is history". My history, film history. I was there, witnessing it, right before my eyes.
"How could you ever be a revolutionary, if you're such a traditionalist?"
Keith (John Legend) asks Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) at one point of the picture. La La Land is the answer to that question. It overflows with a magic that for so many years it was believed to have stayed in the past, back in the 50's-60's, but at the same time it's a film that could have never been done back then. It's the proof that contemporaneity and traditionalism don't have to be apart, they can be together as one, and that's one of the greatest things that true modern art can reach for.
Damien's direction is perfection. His camera moves as if it wasn't a camera, it moves as if it was music. It's everywhere, it's naturally inserted in life. In a era many say to have no charm of its own, the art direction says otherwise. We in the 2010's do have our own iconic charm, and props from the past are part of it. La La Land is the spitting image of that. All decades are here, now - and as we advance into the new, we still take them with us, in a colorful fest of outfits, props, stars and skies.
The music, oh my God... It's no secret that I absolutely love musicals, and this is just bliss. Chazelle and Hurwitz play freely with the jazz all around, there's no limitations, no boundaries to this art, and the purely instrumental musical numbers are just as powerful as the ones with lyrics.
Ryan and Emma are absolutely delightful. They've been conquering our hearts for a long time, and this is where they become icons. They have a cosmic energy between them that's the foundation for the whole thing to work, because they're us, romantics, and they're us, artists, and they're us, dreamers.
La La Land is many things. It's the cinematic peak in every department; acting, directing, art, photography, music... It's the statement that dreaming is hard and painful, but the reassuring that magic still exists. It's a love letter to the past, and a promise to the future. It's that kind of movie that only a person with a genuine bad heart could ever try to put down. It's a strong, comfy hug to dreamers such as myself - it's a reminder of why subjectivity does matter in film discussion. But, more than anything... La La Land is one of those films that we only hear from our parents, uncles and grandparents how spectacular it was to watch them in a movie theater when they first came out, but never got to actually see it like that. We have one of those now. Now, and only now, we can pass on to our children how wonderfully magical cinema can truly be.