La La Land – Movie Review

What do you get when you bring classical Hollywood musicals to the modern age? You get La La Land – a film that fills a gap in Hollywood film making that I didn’t even realise we were missing.

So is it any good?

YESLa La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as Sebastian and Mia – two wandering souls trying to make it big in the City of Angels. After crossing paths, the film follows their ups and downs as they each try to balance their relationship with the pursuit of their dreams. This is all set among some incredibly toe tapping musical numbers, and surprisingly, a somewhat realistic look at what its takes to get to make it big in Los Angeles.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are a delight to watch on screen together. Gosling brings a lot of the humour that I loved in ‘The Nice Guys’ back to the screen here, and the chemistry the two have together is infectious. Both hold their own in dancing and singing in each of the numbers, even though neither are trained in either.

Director Damien Chazelle brings enormous energy to the whole picture. I loved the use of bright colours used throughout the musical numbers and provide a somewhat otherworldly contrast to the sometimes dreary Los Angeles cityscape – doing this I felt he was able to make Los Angeles seem magical. Its an amazing feat for a city I’ve normally found found pretty grey (sorry LA!). With both La La Land and Whiplash under his belt, Chazelle can do no wrong in my book.


The films musical numbers are of course the true highlight here. Justin Hurwitz brings some amazing music to the film – I loved the opening number – “Another Day of Sun” – sung in traffic on a LA freeway. Shot in a single take, its this kind of old Hollywood style set against modern day LA that really make the film feel special. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat since leaving the theatre, it’s just so incredibly catchy!

The film isn’t perfect – it did get a little slow towards the middle, but picks up towards the end with one of the most satisfying endings in recent memory. Of course, this film won’t be for everybody and is very much a musical – but I’d highly recommend everybody giving it a chance. I think you’ll be surprised (as I was!)


La La Land is a love letter to all the dreamers who’ve ever left Smalltown USA to chase their dreams in Los Angeles. It acknowledges the hard road on the way to stardom, and isn’t afraid to show the tough act of making it big. With its amazing soundtrack and wonderful performances La La Land is truly one of the best films of the year – a bright star in the dreary film landscape of cinema that was 2016. So take that somebody special along and I’m sure there’s something enjoyable here for everybody!

La La Land hits Australian theatres on Boxing Day.