One to Watch: La La Land


Only 90 seconds of footage has been released for Damien Chazelle’s film La La Land, but already, it is sure to be a film that deserves to be seen. The film, a musical romantic drama, follows Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), as they find the balance between their dreams and their love affair becoming harder to maintain.

There are multiple reasons why this film is set to be incredible. First of all, Damien Chazelle proved himself to be one of the most exciting new directors in Hollywood with his feature length debut Whiplash (2014). Whiplash was an absolute triumph; a tremendously well cast and well told story which had audiences on the edge of their seat. He showed that he knows how to write interesting complex characters with charms and flaws, and knows how to perfectly match his narrative with interesting cinematography and mise-en-scene. It also showed that Chazelle knows how to direct and write a film about music, so him directing a musical is pretty perfect, to be honest.

The music itself is also a reason why this film should excel. It is composed by Justin Herwitz, continuing his and Chazelle’s partnership from the Oscar nominated Whiplash. As well as this, the songs’ lyrics are penned by musical theatre favourites and Tony/Emmy award winning duo Pasek and Paul, known for composing shows such as Dear Evan Hanson and Dogfight, as well as the musical television series Smash. From Ryan Gosling’s vocals in the trailer, it is set to be a strong and engaging musical performance from him. And since Emma Stone starred in Cabaret on Broadway, I have been desperate for her to be given more opportunities to sing in her career. The one song that has been previewed, ‘City of Stars’ is a beautiful and mesmerising ode to dreaming in Hollywood, with a captivating, hypnotic tune that gets in your head, and thoughtful lyrics sung beautifully. They seem to be matched by elegantly choreographed dance sequences too, so that’s exciting!

This film also reunites the absolute power pairing of Gosling and Stone, making this the third film in which they have starred opposite each other, following Crazy, Stupid Love and Gangster Squad. The pair have an undeniable chemistry which is hard to resist, and their individual charm combines together; melting into each other’s performances and bouncing back and forth off each other with ease. If the pair continue as they have in the past, seeing them in this tale of love and loss will be a wonderful, dreamlike performance. Considering at one point the line up was looking to see Miles Teller and Emma Watson in the lead roles, I am glad that whatever power may be has brought Stone and Gosling back together for us. As well as the leading duo though, the film also has some other talents to boast of including J.K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt and John Legend. Basically, the cast is as awesome as the rest of what’s been released of this film.

Although little more is known than what I’ve listed here; the footage that has been released really does look splendid and truly magical. It was enough to convince me that this film will become one of those rare gems in musical film history, and I hope that when it comes to its release, it will convince you all too.

Watch the trailer for La La Land below.


About Author

Film and English student. Lover of YA novels, Netflixing, fluffy blankets, all things Musical Theatre and modern Shakespeare adaptations. Life goals include writing a novel and being best friends with Emma Stone. Deputy Editor 2017/18 - or so they tell me.

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