On the big screen this week from writer/director Damien Chazelle and Lionsgate is a story of love, song and dreams that happen in “La La Land.”
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a misunderstood Jazz musician who wants to more than just playing in dive bars or parties. Still upset over not being able to open a place of his own, he has no choice but to get jobs where he can.
Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress going from audition to audition while working at serving coffee from a café on the studio lot. Working on her craft as much as possible she is frustrated by her dreams but still not ready to give up.
Mia meets Sebastian and a relationship blossoms into love. Things begin to change when Sebastian convinces Mia to write her own piece for the stage and she jumps right in. He also runs into fellow musician friend Keith (John Legend) who invites Sebastian to bring his jazz to a wider audience.
Now begins a long distance relationship as success begins to happen for them both as Sebastian becomes a success and Mia’s play leads to something even bigger on the horizon.
Their love and dreams are put to the test!
Stone as Mia is so amazing that I could not get enough of her character. Mia is funny, determined and believes in everyone, even if no so much in herself. I love this character because she sees Sebastian’s flaws but still encourages him to be more than he could have imagined. Stone is so lovely but when she cries it definitely tugs at the heart.
Gosling as Sebastian is quirky, unexpected and a little off in a charming way. He wants Mia to reach for her dream and tells her if no one else will give her a role, that she should create one for herself. That is a boyfriend worth hanging on to right? Gosling dances with ease next to Stone and I loved watching every moment of his performance.
Other cast include Terry Walters as Linda, Callie Hernandez as Tracy, Rosemarie DeWitt as Laura, Finn Wittrock as Greg, Josh Pence as Josh and J.K. Simmons as Bill.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “La La Land” five tubs of popcorn out of five. I can say with ease that this film is number three on my Top Ten list for 2016 and deserves to be there with bells on. From beginning to end “La La Land” is beautiful, funny, charming, endearing, musical, toe tapping dance moves and a trip down memory lane.
My mother introduced me to the likes of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers when I was but a wee curly headed kid who loved music. I was enthralled with all films that brought music and dance into stories that left their mark in my memory to this day.
I love that the film is carried by the talent of Stone and Gosling, and although there are a few performances like that of J.K. Simmons (who I adore!), all eyes are on the two career driven lovers.
“La La Land” brings it all to the screen! Gosling and Stone couldn’t be more brilliant if they tried and made their characters instantly believable. The audience screening with me were completely transfixed and taken away for every one of the 128 minutes on the screen.
That’s what “La La Land” has to offer theatre goers who are looking for something amazing, unique and a story that will shoe slide straight into their heart. Cheer and shed a tear for Mia and Sebastian while mentally dancing along with their dreams. I will be watching this film again and again!
In the end — here’s to the fools who dream!