La La Land ★★★★★

There is a moment in the first few minutes of LA LA LAND when a group of people are dancing on top of cars trapped in a L.A. traffic jam that I became absolutely hooked and from that moment, that hook grabbed me and did not stop pulling.   Damien Chazelle, who last wrote and directed WHIPLASH, brings this practically perfect film to the screen that is a homage to the musicals of the early days of Hollywood.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play Sebastian and Mia, two people who are struggling to make it in the City of Angels. Sebastian is a struggling jazz musician who wants to open his own jazz club. Mia wants to become an actress but can’t seem to get past her first audition. The two meet one winter day and it does not go so well. They soon eventually meet again in the spring (the film divides it’s chapters into seasons) and the meeting goes much better, they discuss their hopes and dreams and soon fall for each other.

This film ticks all the right boxes, everything from the songs, to Gosling and Stone, to the technical aspects of it, to the way they use color (which one could tell was heavily influenced by the 60’s French musical THE UMBRELLA’S OF CHERBOURG) is almost too perfect. It’s a great musical and a great tribute to Los Angeles. But just when you think you have figured out what is going to happen, Chazelle completely changes and defies what the old Hollywood musical did with their endings. This is one of the best films that I have seen in a long time and if I could rate it more than five stars, I would. GO SEE LA LA LAND!!!!!

– Word by Russell Boaz

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