La La Land is a musical film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It was released in the winter of 2016 and the title is said to refer to the idiom for being out of touch with reality, as well as the city of Los Angeles.
This movie follows an aspiring actress, Mia, portrayed by Emma Stone, and a musician, Sebastian, portrayed by Ryan Gosling. They first meet on a highway, initially disliking each other as Mia slows him down in traffic. Afterwards, they keep bumping into each other, first on the club Sebastian plays piano in, then at a party where he plays with a (amateur) band after he has been fired. The fall in love, as you would expect, and they move in together while trying to achieve their dreams.
I have seen a lot of hype and positivety around this movie, so my expectations were quite high, and sadly it did not quite live up to them. I love musicals and so i was quite let down about the songs. They were nice, but not anything extraordinary by any means. My favourite songs were Another Day Of Sun (the opening song), Start A Fire and The Fools Who Dream. I generally felt like the songs could have been much better written and performed, and i think they could have found better singers/actors than Stone and Gosling, who in my opinion are kind of mediocre. John Legend (who portrays Keith) was great and i found myself wondering why he was not the one as Sebastian, as i feel like he could do a much better job in that role than Ryan.
The cinematography is beautiful in La La Land. The locations, the lights and all the colors were incredibly stunning. The movie won the best cinematography award at the Oscars, in addition to 5 other awards, and personally i think it was the only Oscar the film really deserved. Emma's acting is not extraordinary in my opinion, as with the music, both with the original score and the original song. I cannot judge the director when i have only seen this movie by them, but i still feel like there were other directors who deserved it more.
The film follows a classic Hollywood pattern, the story revolving around a white, straight couple, and there were many scenes i found quite cheesy, like the scene where the couple dance together and are suddenly flying. It is also hard for me to understand why they cast actors of color in the supporting roles, like John Legend, yet still cast white actors for the centered characters. I was quite pleased that it did not win best picture at the Oscars, because i think Moonlight definitely deserved that, more than anyone else.
Overall, it is quite a nice movie, however i found myself enjoying how the movie looked more than what was happening. I think the plot was moving very slowly, and some of the scenes were rather unnecessary for the story. It is not a bad movie by any means, but i really think it could have been done a lot better, especially knowing the production budget was 30 million dollars.