February 5, 2017 7 min to read

La La Land (2016) Review – Best Picture Oscar Film #2

Category : Uncategorized

“People love what other people are passionate about.”

Original Release Date: December 25, 2016.

This is the next film that I haven’t seen that is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. After this film, I only have to see and review 3 more films in order to have seen every Best Motion Picture Of The Year nomination. La La Land is the film that is nominated for the most Academy Awards this year. A whopping 14 nominations for La La Land (The only other two films to get 14 nominations was Titanic in  1997 and All About Eve in 1959), it has been doing super well in the awards prior to the Academy Awards Nominations going out on January 24th. It won all 7 Golden Globes it was nominated for. This was a film that I was really excited to see as I was a huge fan of the directors previous film Whiplash (2016) and it is always great to watch Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling act together on screen, as they have beautiful chemistry.

Every Oscar post as well, I will re-post the films nominated for best picture with my updated list of the reviews that I have done, just incase this is the first time you’ve visited this blog, I don’t want you to get lost in the shuffle.

Best Picture Nominees:

Arrival –  https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/arrival-review/

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge – https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/hacksaw-ridge-advanced-screening-review/

Hell Or High Water – https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/hell-or-high-water-review/

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester By The Sea – https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/manchester-by-the-sea-2016-review-best-picture-oscar-film-1/

Moonlight – https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/moonlight-advanced-screening-review/

The Review:

La La Land is a Comedy, Drama and Musical film about a Jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

La La Land is directed and written by Damien Chazelle. His directorial debut was Whiplash in 2014, which was an absolutely phenomenal film. I haven’t quite seen a film like it, it was a music, drama film, that was extremely intense for the entire run time. Which is super weird to think of as its about a drummer whose trying to get to the top of his game in a highly regarded conservatory of music. By the way it was filmed, and the performances he got out of his actors, the film was just excellent, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it. Anyways, hearing that this was join to be his follow up film to that, I was extremely intrigued to see what was up his sleeve. I didn’t even watch the trailer, I knew I wanted to see it just by the name and the cast alone. His direction didn’t disappoint in the slightest. My only gripe against his direction was a weird spinning technique that was used a lot, and I think in IMAX it was more nauseating than anything else. But that is my only gripe against this film, it was an absolutely beautiful, colourful, transcendent experience. The way it was filmed and the absolutely breathtaking dance numbers were wonderful, theres just so much to praise about this movie. I haven’t seen a movie quite like it, I was lifted to another level of amazement. I felt like it was a dream that I was part of, and I’m so happy for it.

Damien Chazelle’s writing filmography consists of such films as The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), Whiplash (2014), and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). Along with his excellent direction, Chazelle’s writing was unbelievably good. He can write these downright powerful scenes with no dialogue, and had these really great scenes that allowed for the genuine chemistry of the actors, especially Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone to flourish. I couldn’t imagine the two lead roles being played by any other actors. Their delivery, their chemistry, their playing off each other was just perfect, and Chazelle’s script was very well constructed.

My favourite scene which I don’t consider a spoiler was the tap dancing scene with Sebastien and Mia, the scenery, the music, the dancing was all just perfect and I had a smile on my face for the whole number.

The film stars Ryan Gosling as Sebastien, Emma Stone as Mia, and J.K. Simmons as Bill.

Ryan Gosling’s filmography consists of Remember The Titans (2000), The Notebook (2004), Lars and The Real Girl (2007), Fracture (2007), Blue Valentine (2010), Drive (2011), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), The Ides Of March (2011), The Place Beyond The Pines (2012), Gangster Squad (2013), Only God Forgives (2013), The Big Short (2015), and The Nice Guys (2016). I love Ryan Gosling, and I will watch anything that he is in. He can play any role he wants, and he’s not some actor who phones in performances, he gives it his all. Its really interesting to note that in preparation for his role as Sebastien, he learned to play piano in real life; he would practise 2-3 hours a day for 3 months. His chemistry with Emma Stone has shined through all the films that they’ve done together. I was reminded so much of their film Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), when watching La La Land when it came to the amazing chemistry. He could sing, he could dance and dammit could he ever act and play piano. He was lovely in this movie, there is no wonder to me why he was nominated for an oscar for this role, he was just lovely.

Emma Stone’s filmography consists of Superbad (2007), Zombieland (2009), Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (2009), Easy A (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), Friends With Benefits (2011), Sleeping Dogs {Video Game} (2012), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Gangster Squad (2013), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) (2014). It’s always funny to me to see Emma Stone act in a serious movie, not so much now as she is becoming a serious and wonderful actor. But the first film I saw her in was Superbad, where she was great but I always just imagined her as this girl from Superbad. But she was wonderful as well, the sheer amount of chemistry that she shares with Ryan Gosling shines in every movie. I thought she was just great as Mia, her singing was great and she almost stole the scene in every different shot she was in.

J.K. Simmons filmography consists of Spider-Man (2002), Oz {TV Series} (1997-2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Thank You For Smoking (2005, First Snow (2006), Juno (2007), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), Up In The Air (2009), I Love You, Man (2009), True Grit (2010), Portal 2 {Video Game} (2011), Dark Skies (2013), Whiplash (2014), The Accountant (2016), and Patriots Day (2016). I love seeing J.K. Simmons in anything, its interesting to note that Damien Chazelle’s film Whiplash (2014), was the film that won him the Best Actor in a Supporting Role in the 2015 Academy Awards, and it was great to see Chazelle and Simmons collaborate again for La La Land. Simmons role as quality over quantity and its always great to see him act.

The acting in this movie was pretty much the definition of perfection, I can’t honestly think of any bad scene, or any scene where things weren’t necessary. Everyone played their role with precision, and to have Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone act together in another film, just pushed their chemistry and their wonderfulness as actors to the next level.

The music in this movie, holy crap the music. It is so well written and so wonderful. Each song was sung with emotion, and it gets stuck in your head so easily. I honestly haven’t had music stuck in my head like this in a really long time. Theres no doubt in my mind that La La Land will win the Academy Award best original score and the Award for best Original song, they have two songs in for original song, and they’re both great, I can’t choose.

I honestly can’t think of anything horrible about this movie, except for the weird twisting shots, but thats so small and I think it was more noticeable because I saw it on IMAX.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see La La Land win many of the awards its up for, I’m so glad I got to see this experience in theatres. La La Land is more than a film, its an experience and it is absolutely  worth seeing. To quote myself its wonderful and lovely, two words I’ve used a lot in this review but I can’t honestly think of another way to describe this film.

La La Land gets a 5/5 from me. See it, Experience it, and Fall in love.

 

The Academy Awards La La Land is nominated for are:

Best Motion Picture Of The Year

Best Performance By An Actor In a Leading Role – Ryan Gosling

Best Performance by an Actress In a Leading Role – Emma Stone

Best Achievement in Directing – Damien Chazelle

Best Original Screenplay – Damien Chazelle

Best Achievement in Cinematography – Linus Sandgren

Best Achievement in Film Editing – Tom Cross

Best Achievement In Production Design

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) – Jason Hurwitz

Best Achievement In Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)

Best Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song) – City Of Stars

Best Achievement In Sound Mixing

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

 

Until Next Time, See You At The Oscars!

-Andrew

 

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