La La Land

This movie was music to my ears (pun intended). But really, I thoroughly enjoyed it, from the cheerful musical opening in the sunny winter of LA, to the ending that left almost all of us in tears.

The familiarity of LA sunsets, terrible traffic, city skylines, and the allure of Hollywood really hit it home – I was hooked from the very start. The catchy soundtrack (guess what’s going to be playing on repeat) and the emphasis and prevalence of jazz kept me engaged, although the romance between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling definitely didn’t hurt, either.

What I really loved about La La Land (2016) was how it played homage to Hollywood in a modern context. It took the subtly placed iPhones to remind me that the film was indeed taking place in a present-day setting.

I loved the dissolves and circular fade-to-black (there’s better terminology for this I know) and the retro Motion Picture font.The tracking one shots made me slightly nauseous, but followed each actor and actress in a way that made me forget I was watching a movie. There were a lot of other tidbits that stood out to me too, courtesy of a History of Hollywood class I took at Berkeley.

The dynamic between Mia and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) was especially moving. It reminded me of a more optimistic  A Star is Born (1954)

Mia: Maybe I’m not good enough!
Sebastian: Yes, you are.
Mia: Maybe I’m not! It’s like a pipe dream.
Sebastian: This is the dream! It’s conflict and it’s compromise, and it’s very, very exciting!

At the end of the day, La La Land spoke to me on so many levels…it’s definitely a new favorite!

P.S. Watch it now – get free tickets at by using code LALALEGEND at checkout πŸ˜‰

Photo by @daniellejchoi.


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