Directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land is a film filled to bursting with virtuosic talent.

It is an absolute pleasure to watch. Throughout its duration, the screen is graced with more than just mere acting – this is a performance. It’s impossible to not be worn over by the score alone, which weaves joy throughout the narrative.

The film absorbs you into its world and doesn’t make it easy to leave; upon leaving the screening I couldn’t help but dance and sing around the corridors of the cinema. The world of the film is a sunlit LA, harking back to the classic Hollywood era.

After the opening number which introduces the vast cityscape and the bright colours of the film, we follow an aspiring actress Mia, Emma Stone, and Jazz traditionalist Sebastian, Ryan Gosling, as their endeavours to achieve their dreams are interspersed with their inevitable encounters with one another.

The diverse musical numbers are the highlight of the film. With huge ensemble dances that play with their surroundings, more restrained pieces sequences for two and an amazingly simple and intense solo piece, the score is terrifically diverse.

All of the musical scenes are shot with great pizazz with long takes that are impressively technical, bringing further into the theatrical landscape of the world.

It’s not just in these musical numbers that the director’s skills shine. Every shot is thoroughly beautiful and necessary – no matter how brief. Throughout the film the colours pop as a positive and hopeful feel emanates from the screen. Even the streetlights emit an ethereal light.

Its continuous array of vivid colours makes appear different to the real world outside the cinema – it makes it appear better. Through La La Land and his previous masterpiece Whiplash, Chazelle has proven that intertwining music with film can be fun and, quite simply, cool.

The story is one of the most realistic romances to be depicted on screen; it cuts through the theatrical lighting and grounds the world.

From the way it looks,feels and sounds La La Land can not be faulted. With its fantastical appearance and realistic core, it provides a cinematic spree of visual and auditory beauty.


Dan West


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