I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Another late review. In a time took to get this started, I’m surprised the DVD isn’t out yet.
La La Land is the latest offering from Damien Chazelle, director of one of my faves of 2015, whiplash. This one is a musical love story between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as a struggling actress and hipster jazz musician respectively.
First things first, there are pretty much zero faults in this film. La La Land’s direction, cinematography, editing, choreography, acting, writing and music are perfect to a bizarre degree.
“Bizarre” in that I still don’t get that special tingle. You know, that tingle from the back of your head when you watch a masterpiece. The tingle I see other people are feeling from this film.
I’ve spent days looking at my friend’s Facebook posts trying to work out what’s gone wrong in my head.
I think I found some answers.
For one, hype is a dangerous thing. The number of stars in the trailer for this film is astonishing (there’s another quote for the poster), so forgive me if I was expecting something life altering. The number of times I’ve recommended people watch the greatest movie of all time, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the response is “That was pretty good”, made me appreciate that this might not be a unique phenomenon.
Secondly, 2016 made me a total cynic. This movie is Oscar bait with LA setting and Hollywood glory. Scrub it can be great, but the context does her sceptic critic.
I can’t even complain about that too much, nor can I a wine about the hipster nature of the characters since that ends up being part of their development. The films art presents as with the world and tells us that La La Land is as fake as it sounds. We can’t have everything, art does have to move on, while respecting the past. This level balance is something I truly admire in the same way I love the bounds of Birdman (shut up it was not a pretentious movie, a pretentious director maybe, but nothing else).
Finally, there is the phenomenon of “So good it’s bad”, first explained to me in a Nostalgia Critic video. This film is so perfect in all reviewable factors including its surprisingly complex message, the kind of shoot itself in the foot.
Shawshank redemption is a 99.9% perfect film (all the too cutesy final moment), yet The Green Mile speaks to me more, Jesus allegory and all. Maybe I’m just as much a hipster as Ryan Gosling’s character.
So, my conclusion is that La La Land shows me to be an irrational hipster with great pretension. Thanks, La La Land.
Recommended Scenario: Don’t listen to me, you’ll almost certainly love this.