La La Land is the story of two central protagonists. We begin with Mia (Emma Stone), a waitress with aspirations to be an actress, despite nearly all of her auditions going rather poorly. We’re then introduced to Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a struggling pianist with a passion for jazz. He knows it’s a dying art, but his love for it is strong, and he hopes to open up his own club and bring it back to its former glory. The two, through chance, meet on several occasions, and after a while they decide to go on a date. Sort of. But romance ensures nonetheless, and we follow their attempts to follow their dreams while falling in love, resulting in the most beautiful movie of the year.
It’s a film that feels as though it was thrown right out of the golden age of musicals, but at the same time, it feels very modern. It feels very fresh and new, relevant for audiences today. It’s got a nostalgic feel to it. Actually, it doesn’t seem right saying this film is nostalgic. This is more than nostalgia. This is more than a throwback. This is something that was born and bred from a love of both classic cinema and classical music. It’s a film about passion and love and people’s dreams, and it’s told through powerful and emotional storytelling that will grasp your heart and rip it right from your chest. There hasn’t been a movie like this in the history of film, and it truly is utterly wonderful.
What Chazelle has managed to craft here can easily be considered a work of art, and at times it quite literally is. It’s one of the most beautiful looking movies I have ever seen, the colours and overall aesthetic just immensely satisfying. It’s lively and wonderful, truly feeling like a dream at times. He manages to dazzle audiences with not only an impactful story, but also pleasing visuals, and I’m not just talking about the transfixing sequences that feel out of this world, like the scene at the planetarium, but even just the scenes in which two characters are talking. He manages to make ordinary scenes like those into an art form, and that’s impressive.
Normally with musicals, it’s the music that really carries the movie. It’s the music that people come out of the cinema singing along to, and while that is the case here, it’s not the thing that carries it. Nothing in La La Land carries the movie. There is no one thing that makes this movie as good as it is. Every little tiny component of it comes together to make for one of the best films you will see this year. Or in the opinion of many, one of the best films you will see in your entire life. There’s no stand out moment because every moment is a standout moment. Every scene, line and character beat has been imprinted into my brain and it’s there forever. It’s not possible to forget this movie. It’s absolutely unreal, and a movie you need to experience as soon as possible.