La La Land: the modern musical cinema needs

La La Land is the new hit film that everyone’s talking about since Emma Stone’s success at the Golden Globes- but is it really as incredible as the critics are saying? The answer is yes.

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Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land

Musical fans can rejoice as Damien Chazelle’s La La Land brings cinema the modern musical they have been waiting for. Set in Hollywood, Emma Stone plays Mia- a barista and aspiring actress- who finds herself crossing  paths with jazz enthusiast Seb- played by Ryan Gosling. The musical tells the story of how the pair meet and eventually fall in love, helping each other to achieve their dreams.

From the word go there is no way any musical fanatic couldn’t love it, as unnamed characters sing from cannon to unison in a flash mob fashion during a traffic jam. The opening song, Another Day of Sun, certainly set the scene for the rest of the film. But despite this predictable opening, the “cheesy” nature soon wore off and at times it was easy to forget that the film was even a musical. Each number was woven so well into the story line and script that it almost felt natural to be bursting into song for no apparent reason with the melody of the opening number was repeated and relayed throughout the film.

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone- scene from La La Land

Regardless of the somewhat cliche story line, Stone and Gosling portray a reasonably realistic account of a fairy tale idea. After having bumped into each other twice before they click, the pair are not an obvious item- but once they are (of course) they have all singing and all dancing, honey moon stage charm that could win over any audience.

Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes follows Mia’s decision to meet Seb at the cinema for “research” after ditching her current boyfriend of a month, Gregg, half way through a double date. This is the moment when the pair are first seen to really connect as they reach across to hold each others hands before leaning in for their first kiss- which (in true Hollywood “leave you wanting more” style) was interrupted.

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the Golden Globes 2017

While the film is undoubtedly a love story it’s also clear that there is a real meaning behind it. When Emma Stone received her Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical she said: “this is a film for dreamers and I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world, and that’s what this movie is about.” The film showcases the importance of following your dreams and doing what you believe in- a prominent message for everyone today- and it does so in such an artistic, funny and charming way.

La La Land is in cinemas now.

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