By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)
La La Land: An Onslaught In The Art of Filmmaking
La La Land is the brand new musical that is directed by the young and brilliant Damien Chazelle. This film stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and it tells the story of two young dreamers. Two completely different artists and two completely different people in their own right. Emma Stone plays a young up and coming actress looking for her big break. And, Ryan Gosling plays a young, brilliant, and talented jazz pianist who is trying to save the old ways of jazz. These two characters bump into each other in the beautifully produced setting of Los Angeles. We then as an audience get to go on a brilliantly encompassing journey with these two characters. Where we vicariously live through their eyes that artistically represent the many themes of La La Land such as passion, romance, and success.
This film is an onslaught in impressive filmmaking, including an amazing artistic use of the camera. The editing is impressively done by including every music number with tiny bits of cuts as if you’re watching it on Broadway. The performances are brilliant. Emma Stone embodies this young actress who shows courage and beauty. Courage in the fact of how she refuses to give up on her dreams and her passions. Beauty in how she fights back against the resilience she faces with a smile. Emma Stone is amazing in this film, but Ryan Gosling is spectacular! Ryan Gosling encompasses every trait you could desire out of an actor in a film. He presents drama, comedy, anger, frustration, love, passion, and resilience! He explodes off the screen with his amazing use of timing, movement, facial expression, and belief in the character he’s playing.
This is completely Oscar worthy performance for him. The music in this film is also incredible. I found it almost infectiously toe-tapping. This is part to amazingly written, choreographed, and sung music. Justin Hurwitz should be nominated for best score. It was amazing to listen to and it flowed so beautifully with Chazelle’s artistic direction. Let’s dive into this filmmaking just a bit more. In 2006 the film called Children Of Men was widely renounced as one of perfect examples for why long takes are so beautiful to watch. Damien Chazelle’s La La Land should now be welcomed as its successor. The direction in this film is so artistically crafted. That you can feel the effort, time, and pure unbridled passion put into every frame of this film. He uses long wide takes to really display these musical numbers for the world to see. This incredible direction sucks you into the film so deeply you find yourself dancing in your seat with your eyes imprisoned by the screen.
You can’t look away for one moment because of the rush of emotions this film grasps out of you. This is all because of the masterful direction that should be seen purely as a form of art. The film is also amazingly well written with every act building upon itself. The character development is done incredibly with a combination of dialogue and music. But, all in all what this film is truly about is following your dreams. Ignoring what everyone tells you, and being crazy. Do what you desire. Do something that makes your passion grow, and your love for life personify through your labors. Whatever you choose that labor to be, become fulfilled by its negatives and positives. Never let life or people beat you down to a point where you lose the love for your dreams. Get back to your feet and sing, dance, smile, love, or even fight your way out of the dumps of life. Because you only get one chance to live life to its fullest, so don’t miss it.
This film exemplifies and personifies this through its carefully crafted direction, script, music, and performances. The only flaws I can understand some audience members having with the film is that it might seem or feel a bit too long. I vehemently disagree with this criticism. While this criticism does have logistical reasoning, I found that this film never has dull moment. For film critics it is an explosion in the artistry of filmmaking. For music lovers it is enthralling and constantly ever changing with its lyrics, style, and choreography. And, for the general audience it is a journey in visual artistry combined with musical excellence. I do not usually use this kind of diction when critiquing a film, but it feels insulting to this film to not treat it as a symbolism for the art of filmmaking.
I thoroughly enjoyed La La Land for multiple different reasons. It is emotionally fulfilling and artistically fundamental. Relying on amazing direction, brilliant performances, and enthralling musical numbers to embody you into its narrative. La La Land deserves to be Oscar nominated for multiple categories and I’m going to give at an A+. I love this film and I will stand outside in a line to get it on Blu-ray. What did you guys think of La La Land? What’s your favorite musical? What movies are you looking forward for this year? Let me know down in the comments below and as always have a blessed day.