Movie: La La Land
Date: Jan 1, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5
The first movie of 2017 that will hopefully set the tone for the rest of year for me was "La La Land".
Both written and directed by Damien Chazelle. After seeing "La La Land" I'm definitely interested in checking out his previous film "Whiplash".
In a nutshell "La La Land" tells the story of struggling actress / playwright Mia and traditionalist jazz musician Sebastian both trying to make it in LA. Mia dreams of being on the big screen and Sebastian dreams of owning his own jazz club. And from the very beginning, with the opening dance number, you get a feel for both the collision of dreaming and reality.
Without getting so heavy into the plot what I liked about the film was the old Hollywood feel in a modern setting. The pull and understanding of these two dreamers, passionate about their crafts, and the struggles they face in trying to make it. I loved the signature song that belongs to both Mia and Sebastian. The whimsical nature of the cinematography. If I were to sum this movie up in one word I'd say 'magical'. It's present all the way up until the very end when the audience is treated to a special montage and a shared smile.
I was struck by two thoughts - one was that whenever there was something that pulled me out of the movie (because it did happen) I was just as quickly sucked back in. Also I think I might have realized I am a fan of music in movies, prior to watching this I was a bit skeptical noticing I typically accept my music in an animated film but when I think of my history with music in non animated films it seems pretty non existent. However I could a good thing if you can walk away from a movie with it still on your mind, melodies still drifting in your head, and the desire to relive the experience again.
If I were to pluck a couple songs worth listening to from this film I'd recommend the following at the very least:
1. Mia's Audition - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlunjmpaRVU
2. Epilogue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSg3tBzAVFk
But there are definitely others I'd like, to the point I'm sure I'll pick up the soundtrack. Also the film met my expectation in that I hoped to walk away inspired. Watching the film constantly reminded me of my current WIP and it also provided me with an additional with wanting to pick up piano lessons again. And maybe even see about finally learning to tap dance.