La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, has won seven Golden Globe awards and is nominated for 14 Oscars, but is the film any good? Some of my friends have panned it as having “too many songs,” however I liked La La Land for the same reason. In my opinion it could have withstood the addition of even one more song and dance sequence into the middle section, which was a little slow.
The opening number, located on a traffic ramp in gridlock somewhere in Los Angeles, really grabs your attention. One girl starts singing, then people get out of their cars and join her. There’s a bass and drums that is revealed inside a truck, a skateboarder skates across car hoods and a bicycler pops a wheelie on the cement partition. They sing about the sun, the title appears then they all get back in their cars and things return to normalcy. It all takes place in a single shot, without cuts.
The story follows a young actress (played by Emma Stone), currently a barista on a studio lot, and a struggling jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) who are united by fate and fall in and out of love. The tribulations of their careers are catalogued and there are music and dance numbers along the way. Highlights include an awesome tap dance scene at dawn on a hill overlooking LA, an 80’s cover band playing A-ha, lots of intense light-dim/spot-light moments, and a magical realist starlight levitation scene.
It’s definitely worth the money to go see it in Rutland, if you think you might like it or wait till it comes to CAB Movies on March 21. If dance and musical numbers don’t appeal to you, be warned, this might be one to skip.