A gorgeous homage to 50s Hollywood musicals and French director Jacques Demy (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort), La La Land is regarded by many as one of the best films of 2016 and a potential multiple Oscar winner.
Like those 50s musicals, the premise is simple enough – boy meets girl, they fall in love, they go their separate ways with lots of dancing in the streets and showstopping tunes. Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, The Ides of March) is the jazz musician down on his luck, Emma Stone (Birdman, The Help) the wannabe actress. Their chemistry is palpable with Stone a stand-out as the vulnerable yet determined Mia.
The hype is a little over the top for this throughly enjoyable but overlong celebration of its genre – it’s a good film rather than great. But as a follow up to the superb Whiplash, director Damien Chazelle is proving to be one of the most exciting writer/directors around.