A struggling jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress and together they
try to accomplish their respective dreams as their love only deepens.
La La Land (2016)
Written and Directed by Damien Chazelle
Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend,
Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, J.K. Simmons
Oscar Wins - Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director,
Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz), Best Original Song (City of Stars)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling),
Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Song
(Audition (The Fools Who Dream))
Damien Chazelle is on his way to creating a great legacy, already earning a spot on the list with 2014's Whiplash. This time around, though, Chazelle explored the romantic side of things by giving audiences a story about how hard it really is to accomplish your dreams. La La Land is a bittersweet look at a realistic relationship between two struggling artists, played magnificently by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The music is catchy and lighthearted and the film itself is visually appealing on every level. With La La Land, Chazelle doesn't so much make a film as he does an experience.
We've all got dreams, some far grander than others. Fulfilling those dreams is tough work, so much so that it often never happens. La La Land is very much a film about unfulfilled dreams, be it fame and fortune or even simply love. Gosling and Stone's impeccable chemistry makes you believe in their characters. You want to see them succeed because of their inexhaustible likability. But through it all, Chazelle never tries to give the film a typical Hollywood payoff. It ends exactly the way it should, with both characters experiencing equal amounts of success, heartache, and ultimately resolution.
La La Land is a beautifully filmed musical extravaganza that delivers in all departments. It sports a talented cast with surprisingly impressive singing voices and uses its cynical Hollywood setting to introduce a ray of hope and love to a generation of artists. This film teaches you to fight for your dreams because they are what make you you. They're as much a part of you as your name and to give them up would be betraying your very identity. There's not a person alive who can't take something away from that.