And the envelope; please. This film is currently my pick for Best Picture 2016 and the crowning of Director/Writer Damien Chazelle as the new winner of the Steven Spielberg Award for movie-making genius.
I’m re-watching the opening scene of a jammed-up LA freeway of this stylistic song and dance extravaganza, that is big fun and entertaining, just so I can get my happy mood flowing again. This movie is magical. “Just another day of sun.” Don’t be late to this movie because the opening scene is spectacular.
Southern California sun. When watching this film, and you will see it sooner or later, try to remember that Damien Chazelle was born in 1985; yeah, the boy is 31 years old and is the same guy that wrote and directed the award-winning “Whiplash” in 2014. La La is his fourth film. His career in movies is truly unlimited and I’m thrilled that he’s on our team. Stay alive Damien, and don’t you dare let the immense success and adulation that is about to happen to you, make you crazy. Easy to say, but let’s watch the next 40 years.
Here’s the strong aspects of this movie: acting, music, dancing, singing, screenplay (original), cinematography, costumes, editing, visual effects, make-up and hairstyling. And it’s a delightful love story that will take you back to the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers 1930’s and hurl you into the Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone of today.
Is that possible? Yes, because Damien Chazelle is a virtuoso and Gosling and Stone can perform, sing and dance well enough that both will be nominated. Best couples performance since Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in “As Good as It Gets” in 1997.
Gosling’s Sebastian is a frustrated jazz pianist who thinks his style of music is the answer to the world’s problems and bright-eyed Emma Stone’s Mia is a an equally bewildered, struggling actress who makes coffee on the studio lot. His two-tone shoes are legendary and her almost-no-make-up is gutsy.
Chazelle’s writing and direction takes us down a love trail where a slight touch of the fingers leads to a trip to Griffith Observatory in the hills of LA and dancing under the stars and gravity-defying embraces while floating in the heavens.
Sebastian’s car is a cool convertible and Mia drives a Prius. Will these two lovebirds get together? Will their careers and dreams dictate and trump their hearts? This quality of a film is rare. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 95. Larry H.