La La Land (2016)

Writer/director Damien Chazelles’s La La Land is an emerald gem of a picture. Its warm atmosphere one cannot help but desire to bathe in so to soak up its dazzling reds, starburst yellows, and electric blues—to live in that jazz hall smoky night.

We all know the score. Gosling.  Stone. A conspicuous throwback musical akin to those of Hollywood’s Golden Age. And what a score, Mr. Hurwitz—the music rattles, hums, buzzes, and tinkles the keys to the rhythms of hearts’ pitter-patters.

The script is somewhat bare and mostly conventional, save the last season. There are some continuity nits to be picked and there is not an all-timer musical number sung, but pay no mind. The moment when the story steps away from playful young love towards real life the film becomes something wholly else—transcendent, maybe. The directorial genius of wunderkind Chazelle dazzles at many turns; one brilliant choice follows another. It’s quite amazing that someone barely over thirty has made two of the decade’s best films and both mostly about jazz music no less.

“People love what other people are passionate about.”

Gosling captivates. Stone always glows. They stand out. They share. They both emote so well without speaking that when they do get the chance to chew dialogue—sometimes literally—their brilliance is hair-raising. They can dance, too!

This movie will win many awards and not solely because it’s a nostalgic film that evokes a bygone Hollywood, but because it’s more than good. It’s the kind of woven dream that reminds one why he or she loves the transfixion of movies.

Here’s to the ones who dream.

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