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Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Realities of La La Land

Just this Monday, the Golden Globe just gave La La Land 7 awards breaking the record previously held by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The hype is anted and everyone, including here in the Philippines are raring to see what the critics hailed as the best movie of 2016.

WHAT WORKED?

Hollywood loves films about Hollywood and there are a few films that made the cut as one of the best (Sunset Boulevard) and some are just a pure bore (Cafe Society). La La Land is another of those films who wants to portray Hollywood in a Hollywood Film. So, how different is La La Land?



Emma Stone is an aspiring actor with a stereotypical job: a waitress. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, is a jazz pianist who just wants to chase his dream: To have his own Jazz bar. Typical, right? These actors though are just fun to watch. Gosling is reminiscent of Fred Astaire when he dances and a revelation when he plays the piano. Emma Stone is charming as ever and was done without effort.

Sebastian and Mia shares a romance which will be tested by fame.


Damien Chazelle, fresh from the success of Whiplash, directs this film with bravura. The sequences are beautifully crafted. But what made Chazelle succeed as a storyteller is his ability to present two realities in Hollywood and films in general:

a. The gritty and unmerciful reality of life
b. The beauty of film and cinema

He toys with his audience but does betray them. He lets his audience be amazed but not overwhelmed. This is the beauty of Chazelle's craft and without great wonder, we will still see more of it.

The over-all feel of the film is a fusion of the early 20s to 30s and contemporary approach in storytelling that won't let you feel you are watching a very serious film.

WHAT DID NOT WORK?

There is nothing to complain. So ready your hands after the show. You will need them to clap.

GRADE: A+

trailer


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