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Friday, November 4, 2016

La La Land (2016)

A struggling jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) both have their dreams of success in their chosen paths. But in L.A., dreams seem made to be crushed. But when they fall in love ... can they still have their dreams? Who would have thought that the director (Damien Chazelle) of WHIPLASH could do a valentine to the classic Hollywood musical (though the film is as much influenced by the musicals of Jacques Demy). This is a full blown unapologetic musical. The film opens on a traffic jam on the 105 freeway. A girl begins to sing. She gets out of her car and other people get out of their car ... and sing ... and dance! They're leaping and spinning on car rooftops and my eyes started to tear up with pure bliss! But Chazelle has a bittersweet sauce to layer on this Technicolor candy. The film works on two levels. For those of us who live in Los Angeles and have worked in the film industry, it works on one level but the romantic portion is for everyone and everyone who's ever had a dream and realized that dreams don't come without a price. Gosling and Stone make for an adorable couple but give two of the year's best performances. If you love the movies, you'll love this. This is the kind of movie magic that made us fall in love with movies in the first place. With John Legend, Rosemarie De Witt and J.K. Simmons.

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