La La Land Movie Review


Danielle Lewis

Spotlight Editor

I was somewhat reluctant to buy a ticket for La La Land. Musicals have never made the list of my favorite movies. However, the appearance of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling drew me in enough to purchase the insanely expensive movie tickets. Although I am not the most difficult audience member to please, it still takes a truly astounding movie to resonate with me for days after seeing it, which is what La La Land continues to do.

The movie follows a hopeful actress and a struggling musician as they fall in love and search for success in their respective careers. Writer-director Damien Chazelle was brave in his attempt at reviving the popularity of movie musicals. With new generations that flock towards music genres like EDM and rap, La La Land took a leap of faith with its romantic jazz soundtrack. This choice has already paid off. I have heard the songs played in the hallways of Milken, in the cars passing me by and in my mother’s kitchen. All the songs, no matter upbeat or calm, inspire a sense of hope and joy. The recurring piano solo played by Ryan Gosling is sure to become a legendary melody.

Not only is the storyline an almost perfect romance, but the cinematography and attention to detail creates an enchanting and idealistic world. Most scenes consist of vibrant colors, whether it be monochromatic outfits or multicolored lighting. One of the many exceptional scenes is set at the Griffith Observatory and utilizes the location’s unique architecture and starry night simulator to create a breathtaking performance. When these cinematographic aspects merge with the captivating music, magical scenes come to life.

So far, I have seen La La Land twice and have cried each time, not necessarily from sadness, but from all the overwhelming emotions invoked by the film. Throughout the movie, I was torn between awe, admiration, joy, heartache and disappointment. La La Land has succeeded in recapturing the magic of Hollywood.