Gorgeous, heartfelt and shamelessly joyous, La La Land is an ode to dreamers everywhere and a love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood that’s certain to banish your blues and make you fall in love with film.
“Here’s to fools who dream.”
In modern day Los Angeles jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) fall for each other.
Their future looks set until career opportunities start to test their relationship and their dreams.
Now, there is an immediate problem with La La Land and that is the hype that has been built around it.
Quite simply the world has just gone mad for it, with the film sweeping up nominations, awards and receiving five star reviews from almost every critic around the world.
And yes, you are currently reading yet another five star review that will applaud the film’s creativity, gush over the astounding lead performances and ultimately hail the film as a modern day masterpiece.
Seriously though, despite the incredible hype La La Land still exceeds expectations and it is simply impossible not to adore the film and leave the cinema beaming.
For writer and director Damien Chazelle, who took cinema by storm two years ago with the incredible Whiplash, La La Land is a passion project and it’s clearly been made with a lot of love and attention to detail.
The genius of the film is that it plays out like a 1930/40s musical but continually brings in modern day elements reminding us that life isn’t always how it is portrayed in those glamorous Hollywood movies.
A toe-tapping dance number is interrupted by an incoming call on an iPhone, a romantic kiss in a cinema screen is interrupted by the film breaking and our heroes’ love affair is interrupted by the bittersweet realities of life.
It pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood and musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain whilst being a modern day romantic drama, a unique and original combination that has never reached the big screen before.
Filmed in CinemaScope, which was used in the 1950/60s, it even has an old school look to it, which is glorious to watch on the big screen and ensures that the cinematography is stunning.
Our eyes are immediately met with vibrant colours as we are taken around sound stages and sun-drenched sets by a camera that sweeps and soars around the singers, dancers and actors.
The choreography of the dancing, as well as the cameras, is just breath-taking.
Of course this is a musical and one of the best things about the film is its soundtrack which is just splendid and will leave you with a song in your heart.
From grand big band numbers to jazz music to beautiful piano solos, La La Land has it all and every song means something and adds another element to the film.
It also gives a chance for our two leads to sparkle and put on a show!
Gosling and Stone really are the Fred Astaire and Ginger Roberts for a new age.
Both give fantastic performances that are highly emotional, charismatic and engaging, and they sure can sing and dance.
Stone steals the whole show though with a simple scene at an audition where she performs her big solo with power, emotion and vulnerability.If that scene doesn’t leave you with a tear in your eye I am sorry to say that you are not human.
Quite simply La La Land will be the best film of 2017 as it is one of the finest films that has been made this decade.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.