La La Land Movie Review by Dylan Tracy

La La Land Delivers Shining Performances…But Dull Story

Los Angeles. An almost other-worldly location where entertainment and talent run the city. A place where thousands of people from all over the world come to showcase their talents in the hopes of one day making it big. A place where traveling ten miles by car can take you almost two hours. A place where dreams can become a reality, or become shattered. This is the setting for Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a visual music and dance spectacular that will (almost) convince you to pack your bags and hit the road to LA.

La La Land revolves around aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling); both working in the shadows of their dreams (Mia as a barista on the Warner Bros. lot and Sebastian as a pianist at a restaurant) to make ends meet. After a turbulent first encounter with each other, Mia and Sebastian begin a relationship, helping each other to strive towards their dreams in the big city despite many setbacks. However, after Sebastian makes it big with a band (fronted by John Legend) and is traveling all over the country, Mia is left back in LA struggling to make her dreams a reality. They are soon faced with the decision of choosing love or their dreams, even if it means never seeing each other again.

Both Stone and Gosling deliver powerful performances that are sure to earn them Academy Award nominations. The music and dance choreography is also spectacular, setting a new standard for music and dance numbers in film. However, as visually appealing as the film is, the story tends to lack at times, dragging on for much longer than necessary. The end of the film seems very rushed, and left me very confused about the fate of the characters.

As much as I am sure La La Land will be a favorite during the current awards season, I don’t believe it carried itself to its fullest potential. I definitely give the film major props for being an original idea and for the fantastic performances, however it failed to completely grasp this critic’s attention entirely.

Grade: B


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