It is unanimous that 2016 is the year of great movies, a fact which makes for a perfect salve to the 2016 that is awful, ugly, rude in real life. One of these great movies—at least for me—was Damien Chazelle’s colorfully saturated, highly-spirited musical “La La Land.” Starring Ryan Reynolds as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, the film is said to be a love letter to old Hollywood musicals. But there is no need to be an aficionado of its variety of references and homages. If the sight of people suddenly bursting into song on a major highway is no problem for you, then you would probably enjoy this as much as you did with the television series “Glee” or Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!” . All you need to do to is to dive straight into the intense sincerity of Gosling’s Sebastian and Stone’s Mia, and you’d know here lies the tension. In this time and age when superheroes and the supernatural regularly invade our movie going experience, it is impressive that “La La Land” features no villain: no hysterical wine-wielding woman, no cheating boyfriend, no scheming maniac who aims to rule over the world. Just dreams and passions, the very same things that could lift anyone to the skies in bliss. Or, as proven by many in the real world, pull each other apart. And that is the most tragic thing that could happen to anyone, whether it’s in the realm of fantasy or reality. I think this is the only film that I’ve seen in a very long while that takes a surgical, precise understanding on the pains of defining one’s priorities and the myriad of emotions that goes through the process. It is hard. “La La Land,” like many other beautiful stories, is painful to watch, but it is also stories like this that make the heart sing a memorable tune.
[ image borrowed from this site ]