TIFF16: La La Land

An aspiring actress and a jazz pianist fall in love in the Hollywood Hills in La La Land. Mia (Emma Stone) is a barista on a Hollywood movie lot, who hopes to one day achieve her dreams of being an actress. One day, Mia meets Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a gifted pianist, who one day wants to open a jazz club. Mia and Sebastian quickly fall in love with each other, however soon find that achieving their dreams might get in the way of this romance.

For his sophomore film, Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) creates a homage to classical Hollywood musicals. Despite the story of La La Land seemingly taking place in the modern day, the aesthetic of the film would probably be more at home with the Hollywood musicals of the 1940s and 1950s. Featuring multiple musical numbers and dance sequences, La La Land is a bright, colourful, and very whimsical film that transports you back to a cinematic era of the post.

Possible criticisms of Ryan Gosling’s singing ability not withstanding, I would argue that La La Land is arguably the best original movie musical since Moulin Rogue! came out fifteen years ago. The musical numbers in the film are catchy and many dance sequences are awe-inspiring. La La Land is most definitely a crowd-pleasing film, which might even include a tear-jerking moment or two. I definitely recommend checking this one out.

9 / 10 stars

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).