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La La Land Review

La La Land Review

La La Land Reviewed

The plot can be summed up quite briefly as; an out of work jazz pianist in Los Angeles dreams to own his own successful jazz club. A struggling out of work actress wants to be a Hollywood star and famous playwright. Both have aspirations which come to fruition but at the cost of their own personal relationship. La La Land shows us that the dreams of the movies do not necessarily reflect real life, but the movie dream machine shows us the life we would all like to aspire too. We want to be successful in our careers and find a real loving relationship along the way but things do not always work out as we would all wish it too. It’s an old, old story!

The problem with La La Land is the press and Hollywood hype. It’s just a musical, in fact, an overly long musical (128 minutes) given the very basic premise of the story. Admittedly the cinematography is stunning in parts, the music is haunting and remains in your head although basically the whole musical consists of just one or two repeated themes – very a la Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Is it an award winner? Maybe for cinematography, possibly for musical score, but best acting – maybe not; best screenplay – er….no; best Director – probably not, best movie – not really, I’ve seen a whole lot better. Should it have been nominated for 11 Oscars – definitely not. It’s up against some pretty stiff opposition from ‘Moonlight’ (Naomie Harris) and ‘Fences’ (Viola Davis and Denzel Washington ) both of which are very strong contenders for golden gongs. I would say that it should win an award for the most over-hyped production from the dream factory.

However, all that being said, the first 6 minutes song and dance sequence set in a morning rush hour traffic jam where the camera moves apparently non stop without any perceivable edits, capturing the cast as they dance, sing and do acrobatics with bikes and skateboards amongst the cars in a traffic jam on the slip road of the LA freeway. In actual fact there are two edits within the sequence, which eagle eyed editor’s will notice happen during two whip pans that momentarily blur the image to fool the eye into thinking it’s a continuous sequence. The whole 6 minutes took two days to film, which in movie making terms is pretty good going. It’s a wonderful piece of choreography and stunning cinematography, such a shame that the other 122 minutes fails to keep up this momentum and deliver to all the expectations set up by this opening sequence. In my opinion, this movie doesn’t come close to films like ‘Moulin Rouge’ which was stunning throughout, or ‘Grease’ for it’s often parodied dance routines.
However, all that being said, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9NNuMDBXSY It’s a wonderful piece of choreography and stunning cinematography, such a shame that the other 122 minutes fails to keep up this momentum and deliver to all the expectations set up by this opening sequence.

In my opinion, this movie doesn’t come close to films like ‘Moulin Rouge’ which was stunning throughout, or ‘Grease’ for it’s often parodied dance routines.
Perhaps the Producers should have explained to Damien Chazelle (Director & Screenwriter) why 1940’s style Hollywood musicals are no longer made – and that no one should try to replicate that famous dance sequence from ‘Singing in the Rain’ albeit here without the rain, Ryan Gosling is no Gene Kelly. The classics are classics for a reason and this pretentious wannabe will fade into time along with its hype. That said, I have to admit I am not a fan of musicals per se but even my co-Director who is a musicals fan said she found it rather too long and not up to expectations, although enjoyable nonetheless!

“See how ‘Another Day of Sun was rehearsed, this is amazingly good…..” :http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/la-la-land-opening-scene-intro-dance-number-highway-iphone-rehearsal-behind-the-scenes-video-a7589161.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9NNuMDBXSY

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