La La Land
Joyous modern-day musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone Discuss this article
Young writer-director Damien Chazelle has followed his Oscar-winning Whiplash with another entirely novel film steeped in the world of music.
His soaring, romantic, extremely stylish and endlessly inventive La La Land is that rare beast: a grown-up movie musical that’s not kitschy, a joke or a Bollywood film.
Instead, it’s a swooning, beautifully crafted ode to the likes of Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Stanley Donen’s Singin’ in the Rain that plays out in the semi-dream world of Los Angeles and manages to condense the ups and downs of romantic love into a very Tinseltown toe-tapping fable.
La La Land boasts stars to fall in love with: Ryan Gosling is Seb, a brooding pianist and jazz purist who dreams of running his own nightclub, while Emma Stone plays Mia, a more sunny studio-lot barista and aspiring actor who dreams of putting on her own plays. The film follows them from winter to autumn and back to winter as they meet, argue, fall in love and face a growing conflict between their personal passions and romantic hopes. The film has a delirious, sideways, play-within-a-play view of Hollywood, but is sweeter and generous, offering up a place where artistic ambition and heady romance can co-exist, at least for a while, and breaking into song and dance can be simultaneously deadly serious and a whole lot of fun.
The bottom line
Joyous modern-day musical.
Time Out Doha,