La La Land Reviews
The first big nod needs to go to Justin Hurwitz, who has composed an excellent modern-day musical about the struggles and magic of "La La Land". Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling shine in great performance roles that they mold into their own, never feeling like they're acting but rather let their characters leap off the screen and allow the viewer to fill in all the emotion that they are going through. Again highlighting the fantastic music and the natural performances, combined with Chazelles uses of long takes and pans takes you back to the Hollywood of old, when you needed to be a true performer (singing, dancing, acting) and gives off a stage show feel on the silver screen.
The use of colour and light is brilliant, every shot feeling structured, planned, and well executed to provide optimum emotional value and connection to our dreamers. Again, driven by a fantastic screenplay and strong performances across the board - this is a movie that belongs in everyone's library. Especially the aspiring film makers - everything you want to learn about how to make a great film is here. Which is what makes it great - redundantly.
All great films are teaching films. Along with being an excellent piece of nostalgic cinema with a fresh look at our modern struggles of following a dream this movie teaches young viewers how to create a great film.
The bad: tired premise (Hollywood dreams, again), mansplaining, contrived and unconvincing depiction of jazz with respect to "pure" jazz vs "selling out", would have loved to see Emma Stone's character more fleshed out like Gosling's