By Ian Morton
Much like his previous work, Damien Chazelle has managed to give you a reason to go to the cinema again with the fascinating and elegant, La La Land.
The simple story follows the relationship between both an aspiring musician and a wannabe actress as they live their lives trying to break their respective professions.
After the astounding and Oscar-winning breakthrough, Whiplash, Director Damien Chazelle has once again brought another spectacle to the big screen by not only reviving a lost genre but also using it as a powerful tool for storytelling.
Without skirting round the subject too much, this film is simply a masterpiece. From the production design through to the score, the final product is quite frankly one of the best pieces of cinema in the last 10 years. Dancing between two genres, the story is both a romantic throw back to old school musicals mixed with the heartbreaking reality of drama. The result is both brilliant and incredibly nostalgic that will have most people leaving the cinema with a smile on their face.
While the story is relatively simple, the magic is purely in the design. As you dance through the plot, each scene becomes increasingly complex; particularly with the visuals. Whether you are experiencing the seemingly single shot musical numbers or the well paced set pieces, the overall effect is such a treat, you will be thinking about it for days.
You can’t have a musical however without a decent score; and thankfully La La Land has a great one. Crafted by Justin Hurwitz, the score blends well with the story and does a great job at setting the tone. Much like Whiplash, the charming and endearing song sheet is based on the writer’s love affair with the Jazz age and is a passion that comes through in spades. When combined with the impressive production, the final result is truly astounding.
Wrapping things up nicely is the mesmerizing chemistry between leads, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Embodying the characters, the two leads seemingly dive into all challenges. Whether they are tasked with singing, playing an instrument or dancing, both give it all they have which comes out on screen at all times. Individually they are strong but when on screen together, they really are a match made in heaven.
Overall, Chazelle has managed to tick all the boxes and make something truly spectacular. From the first frame to the final credit, there is a charisma and magic that not many people can create on the big screen. It might be unwise to predict my favourite film of the year this early on but in all honesty, La La Land is going to be an insanely difficult one to beat. 5 out of 5 stars.
Still catching up on that bucket list of movies from 2016? Check out what we thought of the years movies with out top 10’s: