Released at a time of much needed escapism, La La Land is definitely deserving of the hype. ★★★★
La La Land demonstrates captivating storytelling at its best, enforced by the stunning cinematography and endearing, witty performances from both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
In the present time of global uncertainty there is an ever urgent need for escapism and La La Land offers this in abundance. It is a chance to subscribe to a whimsical nostalgia of 1930s Hollywood, which is cleverly juxtaposed with the present day. This serves to reaffirm the importance that dreams, passions, pursuits and fears are as relevant today as they’ve always been.
The juxtapositions themselves are indicative of the characters’ personalities and aspirations. Mia (Stone) dreams of becoming the next generation Hollywood starlet and storyteller, while driving her modern, modest and unassuming Toyota Prius. Sebastian (Gosling) dreams of owning a purist old school jazz bar, all while driving an imposing, classic, Buick Rivera. Both characters are subsequently forced to face the reality of their dreams.
La La Land evokes that age old questions, can you really have it all?
Without wanting to ruin the plot for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, the answer is seemingly yes – but likely not all at the same time. Director and screenwriter, Damien Chazelle, has successfully delivered a balance between having dreams and living in reality; focusing on fulfilment and relinquishment of the past and present.
Not only is La La Land deserving of its 11 BAFTA and 14 Oscar nominations, it has also offered up a contender for the Oxford Dictionaries Word of 2017, ‘jazzplaining’ – by proxy of my favourite metaphor from the entire film, courtesy of John Legend’s Jazz musician character, Keith:
“How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.”
The defining moral of the story? Having dreams and aspirations defines your existence. Reach for the stars – hey, even dance amongst them! However, realise that dreams also require dedication, compromise and sacrifice.
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.