Friday, December 16, 2016

La La Land


For a slew of reasons, La La Land has been one of the most anticipated films of the fall.  For one, it reunites the now classic pairing of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.  For another, it's written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the boy wonder who burst onto the scene in 2014 with the brilliant and totally original film Whiplash (which won J.K. Simmons a long deserved Academy Award).  Chazelle's follow-up is another total original, this time a musical love letter to Los Angeles.  Now, I know, you probably don't like musicals.  Most everyone I mention this film to says that very same thing.  But this musical has been beloved since it played at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and virtually every other film festival over the last three months.  Even Tom Hanks couldn't stop singing its praise at a Q&A for Sully in Telluride, where he was supposed to be talking about his own film.  (I'm sure director Clint Eastwood must have LOVED that!)  So, in short, it's likeable, original, and fun to look at and to listen to.  And one musical won't kill you.  So give it a chance because it's probably going to win the Oscar for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  Those who love musicals will love it.  And those who don't will still probably dig it.

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