Winning a record 7 Golden Globes this year, La La Land is seemingly unstoppable. Adored by critics, lapped up by the public, it can seemingly do no wrong this golden child of 2017. Our Kambole saw this all coming back in September when he caught a first glimpse of the film as part of our Venice Film Festival coverage. Rather beautifully it must be said, he described the film as “The space between the dreams and reality of La La Land is so perfect, that it hurts all the more when the song finally ends.”
With a fantastic review, Kambole sounded our FIVE STAR KLAXON and prepared us all for the renaissance of the musical. Now the rest of us are able to see the film, with La La Land out in U.K. cinemas now, we gathered the team together to have a Team Talk. Did La La Land get the rest of the team dancing in the aisles, or where they heading for the exits and singing the blues?
On top of this, we want to hear from you. What did you think of Chazelle’s latest? Tell us in the comments below.
Joe – 5/5
The day I saw La La Land I woke up to a broken boiler (again) and the dispiriting reality that I was in the queue for mental health treatment (again).
Yet for two blissful hours my problems melted in the California sun. Granted, Emma and Ryan were no Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. But it didn’t matter! Everything else popped with vitality. An L.A. bursting with colour, and music so intoxicating that I found myself tapping along to it. All wrapped together by a story that was in tune to the rhythm of human feeling. I walked out rejuvenated.
Rachel – 4/5
La La Land contains many glorious surprises, especially for musical cynics. Chazelle expertly redeploys conventions yet it’s the well-written characters lent originality by Gosling and especially Stone that get under the skin. Ultimately, though increasingly joyful to watch, it’s a bittersweet, melancholic story that proffers rather tragic insights about the struggle to balance relationships with personal ambition.
A superlative musical with an addictive soundtrack, La La Land is today’s answer to Fame (Alan Parker, 1980), albeit with glossier production and less teen angst. Still, it’s more cynical than it’s being given credit for, and is all the stronger for it.
Tom – 5/5
La La Land is going to win the Best Picture Oscar on February 26th, and it’s going to deserve every carat of that golden statuette. It’s not a perfect film, but one whose radiant brilliance outshines its minor flaws. It’s the kind of film you can’t help falling in love with.
Every moment is scored with an irrepressible love of films and music, and a burning passion for the fools who dream. It’s in love with the ugly beauty of that artistic vision more than anything: its disappointments, its heartbreak, and every so often, its joy.
Steph – 5/5
La La Land is a film that makes you forget that the outside world exists from beginning to end. From the opening song, Damien Chazelle sucks us into a world lead by its endearing two main characters who sing and dance their way through a turbulent relationship, both with each other and with Hollywood. It’s lighthearted and a great deal of fun, but also earnest enough to make it easy to get swept up in the emotions that Sebastian and Mia go through in the final 20 minutes. Look out for Whiplash-esque jazz scenes and a stunning dance in the Griffith observatory.
Joni – 3/5
What makes a musical? Is there a number of songs that turns a movie into a bona fide musical extravaganza? Because while La La Land let me with a grin on my face, and tears in my eyes – I was a little disappointed with the music. Sure, ‘Another Day of Sun’ is the best film opening I’ve seen in years – but La La Land quickly ditches the ensemble, content to let Gosling and Stone run the show with a series of solos and duets. La La Land honours the pantheon of great Hollywood Musicals – but it doesn’t earn a place among them.
David – 5/5
When I sit in the silence of my mind, reliving that sensational final act, I feel something other-worldly. I realise why all the praise is raining down on this film. I relive a euphoria that this mind cannot convey, bound by a vocabulary that just cannot capture this sensation.
La La Land is a film that offers much more than it should, and I’m truly fascinated to see how it is remembered in years to come. For now, it’s a welcome ode and celebration of nostalgia and life. Bravo Chazelle! You made your dream film, and it’s a dream to watch.
Tori – 4/5
Now don’t get me wrong, La La Land is fabulous – and as a super-fan of Golden Age Hollywood, its evocations of that era and style of movie-making are fabulously welcome, too. I just worry that the film can’t live up to the lavish praise that has been heaped upon it by critics, awards bodies and audiences alike. It’s delightful to hear original songs, soak up the joy of their dancing and revel in the nostalgia – but do I see it, years from now, being on the same pedestal as Singin’ in the Rain? No. La La Land is a fitting tribute to such pictures, but not quite there in and of itself.
Christopher – 5/5
Los Angeles, city of dreams: some realised, most broken. It’s the perfect stage for Damien Chazelle’s euphoric third feature La La Land, a simultaneous ode to joy and devastation.
Life is a riddle of dichotomies: food has more flavour for the hungry; light burns brightest in the dark; songs sound loudest in silence, and loss feels more painful in the absence of true love. We must endure one to receive the other.
This is La La Land’s cynical song, softly drifting behind the sumptuous colours, schtick, and clacking of tippy-toes: compromise. Regardless of what the world whispered, you can’t have it all.
Check out our last Team Talk from the team over Martin Scorsese’s Silence.