Movie Review: “La La Land” is destined to become a classic; film is a strong contender for Best Picture

“La La Land” was beautifully shot, edited and mixed just right. I believe it will be one of those movies we’ll be talking about 25 years from now. Audiences are lined up and are packing movie theaters to see this film all across the country.

The movie is a classic Hollywood love story. It opens with the sights and sounds of a traffic jam on the freeway in Los Angeles. Minutes later, people emerge from their cars in a musical number. They were dancing and singing on the street. Although it’s highly illegal to do, I’m sure the producers obtained permits to close the freeway.

Ryan Gosling plays a struggling musician named Sebastian. He is a pianist in a local nightclub. Emma Stone plays Mia, a woman working in a cafe within the Warner Bros. Studio lot. She is a rising actress looking for her big break.

Sebestian and Mia first meet in the opening number on the freeway. Then, they go their separate ways for about the next 30 minutes of the movie.

One day, Sebastian is playing the piano at the nightclub. He decides to play Christmas songs instead of the ones on the set list. Enter J.K. Simmons who plays the owner of the nightclub named Bill. Next thing we know, Sebastian is fired!

Meanwhile, Mia keeps going on audition after audition. She keeps getting rejected over and over and feels hopeless. Then, she met up with Sebastian at the cafe. He asked when she was getting off and she replied “10 minutes.” So he waited for her to finish her shift.

Sebastian and Mia went for a walk around the Warner Bros. Studio lot. He suggested that she forget the auditions and instead become a screenwriter to she can create her own roles. Mia appreciated that idea. She proposed that Sebastian should open his own nightclub instead of playing music for people who don’t appreciate him.

There its lots of jazz music woven throughout this film. When I say jazz, I mean New Orleans style with a saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano and the guitar. Not the jazz music that makes you fall asleep on the radio.

I’m not going to give away the ending in this review. Will Sebastian and Mia ever get married? Does he open his own nightclub? Will she become a Hollywood screenwriter? However, you’ll be able to answer those questions by the time that the credits start rolling.

The movie shows Los Angeles in a positive light. It makes the city look fun and exciting.  There are shots of iconic landmarks like the Griffith Observatory, Watts Towers and the downtown LA skyscrapers. You might even want to visit there if you’ve never been.

“La La Land” received the Vanguard Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival on Jan. 2. Director Damien Gazelle said during his acceptance speech that movie goers are lining up to see the film six or seven times.

I think that “La La Land” will be a strong contender for the Best Picture award at the upcoming Academy Awards. Comedic films don’t win the top prize very often, but I think that this year will be different. The movie was very enjoyable and is one that I will be telling my friends and family about for quite some time.

Overall Rating: A+



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