Hello, everyone. For those of you new to my blog, my name is Joshua. Today I will be reviewing the 2016 musical film, La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle The film starred Emma Stone (Easy A, Birdman, The Amazing Spider-Man) as an aspiring actress named Mia Dolan and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Big Short) as a jazz musician named Sebastian Wilder. La La Land follows the blossoming love story between them in Los Angeles, California. La La Land paid homage to the music and dance of the 1950’s, with songs such as “Another Day of Sun” and “Someone in the Crowd” reminding us of the music from decades ago. Before I review, let’s take a look at the story behind this beautifully written film.
La La Land showcases the trials of Mia Dolan, a barista at Warner Brothers Studios who dreams of becoming a famous actress, but none of her auditions seem to go as well as she had planned. Sebastian Wilder is a man who dreams of becoming a famous jazz musician but struggles to make money in the bustling city of Los Angeles. These two dreamers cross paths multiple times, leading them to form a friendship. Sebastian introduces Mia to “real jazz” and inspires her to follow her dream of making her own stage play. Sebastian tells Mia about his own dream, to not only play jazz but to open up a jazz restaurant of his very own. As the two grow closer together romantically, Sebastian believes Mia expects him to get a job to pay the bills. Sebastian is offered a part in his friend Keith’s (John Legend) “new age” jazz band. Sebastian reluctantly agrees, believing it will bring in the money needed to help support him and Mia. Sebastian begins touring with the band, and Mia believes they are changing the world of jazz that Sebastian knows and loves. Mia confronts Sebastian about this, saying he is killing his dreams. Sebastian accuses her of liking him better when he was unsuccessful, as it made her feel better about herself. Mia angrily storms off, disagreeing with Sebastian’s accusations.
Sebastian forgets about Mia’s play and attends the band’s photo shoot instead. Sebastian arrives to find an angry and saddened Mia who explains that the play was a disaster and that she didn’t earn enough money to pay back the theatre. Sebastian tries to convince her to stay, but Mia tearfully leaves him to go back home, subsequently ending their relationship.
Sometime later Sebastian receives a call from a casting director, who attended Mia’s play and wanted to have her come in for an audition. Sebastian drives to Boulder City, Nevada (Mia’s hometown) and convinces her to come back with him to Los Angeles for the audition. The two arrive at the casting office and Mia leaves feeling certain she nailed the audition. Mia and Sebastian embrace but are uncertain of their future as a couple.
Five years later, Mia has risen to stardom as a famous actress. She has a husband and a daughter. Mia and her husband go out and visit a jazz club named Seb’s, and Mia realizes that the logo for the jazz club is the same one that Mia designed for Sebastian years ago. The two go inside and Mia sees Sebastian, and the two imagine what might have been if they had stayed together, but realize that if they had stayed together then only one of them could have pursued their dreams. Mia shares a smile with Sebastian before leaving with her husband.
La La Land was a spectacular film. Emma Stone was brilliant at playing Mia, showcasing a lively and joyful character with big dreams. Ryan Gosling played an excellent Sebastian, who pursued his dreams and wouldn’t let anybody get in his way. Together, these two actors performed beautifully, but ultimately it was clear that the characters were not meant for each other. Their dreams were too big, so big that only one could have flourished if the two had stayed together. Ultimately I enjoyed the ending. It showed the audience that love comes and goes and that sometimes you will have break ups, but that doesn’t mean that your dreams can’t still live on.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both had surprisingly good singing voices, and the dance scenes were marvelous and spectacular. La La Land was truly a beautiful film, and it made the audience think about life and how certain decisions can change so much about a person’s life. The ending in which Mia imagines a future with Sebastian shows her that Sebastian wouldn’t have been able to follow his dream. It shows us that Mia would have been in the starlight, but he wouldn’t. His dream would have been lost, and that wouldn’t have been fair to him. Mia did not have the right to take away Sebastian’s dream, nor did Sebastian have the right to take away Mia’s dream.
I recommend La La Land to anybody who enjoys a good film and wants to follow their dreams. It was definitely an unforgettable film, a treasure that will transcend time.
♥♥♥♥♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥
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