Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J. K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Rosemarie DeWitt, Meagen Fay, Callie Hernandez
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Musical comedy-drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle. La La Land (2016) is set in modern day Los Angeles about everyday life exploring the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. We follow Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress who serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician who scrapes by playing cocktail piano gigs in dingy bars. As success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
Read the review of the movie here.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Mia: [singing] Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache. Here’s to the mess we make. She captured feeling, sky with no ceiling, the sunset inside with rain. Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache. Here’s to the mess we make.
Bill: You’re fired.
Sebastian: It’s Christmas.
Bill: Yeah, I see the decorations. Good luck in the New Year.
Mia: I just heard you play and I want to…
[Sebastian walks over to her and kisses her]
Mia: It’s pretty strange that we keep running into each other.
Sebastian: Maybe it means something.
Mia: I doubt it.
Sebastian: Yeah, I don’t think so.
Sebastian: [to Mia] You could just write your own roles, you know, write something that’s interesting as you are.
Sebastian: Bill, thanks for having me back.
Bill: You’re welcome.
Sebastian: I want you to know you’re looking at a new man.
Sebastian: A man that’s happy to be here.
Sebastian: Very easy to work with. Yeah.
Bill: Okay. And you’re going to play the set list.
Sebastian: Happy to. Even though I don’t think anyone cares what I play, but , yeah.
Bill: Well, if by “anyone” you mean anyone other than me, that would be correct. I care and I don’t want to hear the free jazz.
Sebastian: Right. Okay. Although I thought in this town it worked on a sort of “one for you, one for me” basis type system. How about two for you, one for me? How about all for you and none for me?
Bill: That’s perfect, yes.
Sebastian: Okay, a mutual decision then.
Bill: Right, made by me.
Sebastian: Right, and I sign off on it, so.
Bill: Whatever. Tell yourself what you want to know.
Mia: What are you going to do?
Sebastian: I have my own club.
Tracy: [referring to Sebastian] Is that going to happen every time?
Mia: I think so.
'People love what other people are passionate about.' - Mia (La La Land) Click To Tweet
Mia: I got a callback.
Sebastian: What? Come on! For what?
Mia: For a TV show, the one I was telling you about. Really.
Sebastian: The Dangerous Minds meets The OC?
Sebastian: Congratulations, that’s incredible!
Mia: It’s really exciting. I feel like I said negative stuff about it before.
Mia: It’s like Rebel Without a Cause sort of.
Sebastian: “I got the bullets!”
Sebastian: You’ve never seen it.
Mia: I’ve never seen it.
Sebastian: Oh, Mia. You know it’s playing at the Rialto.
Sebastian: Yes. You should. I mean I can take you.
Sebastian: You know, for research.
Mia: For research.
Sebastian: Okay. Monday night, ten o’clock.
Mia: Yeah, great.
Mia: For research.
Keith: [to Sebastian] How are you going to be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You’re holding onto the past, but jazz is about the future.
Mia: Maybe I’m not good enough!
Sebastian: Yes, you are.
Mia: Maybe I’m not. It’s like a pipedream.
Sebastian: [to Mia] This is the dream! It’s conflict, and it’s compromised. And it’s just, it’s new every time. It’s brand new every night. It’s very, very exciting!
Mia: [over phone, crying] No, I’m happy for you. I’m happy for you. I just thought, I don’t know what I thought.
Mia: People love what other people are passionate about.
'I'm letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I'll hit back. It's a classic rope-a-dope.' - Sebastian (La La Land) Click To Tweet
Sebastian: They worship everything and they value nothing.
Sebastian: I’m letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I’ll hit back. It’s a classic rope-a-dope.
Sebastian: What do you mean you don’t like jazz?
Mia: It just means that when I listen to it, I don’t like it.
Mia: I’m always going tolove you.
Sebastian: I’m always going to love you too.
Sebastian: I guess I’ll see you in the movies.
rajat bhatia says
No offence. I kind of slept in between. The mix of music and dialogues somewhere made the movie lose its momentum. The best part starts from the point of Mia’s last audition. The dream sequence was good. On the whole, apart from catchy score and (audition/someone in the crowd/city of stars) few songs, it was an average musical. I kind of think its overhyped. We already have witnessed excellent musicals like Chicago. This piece doesnot reach upto that level.
Bill Donaldson (Canada) says
I am 72 and musicals are my favorite movies. My wife and I went to see La La Land expecting something great. Sadly we got to see one of the worst musicals of all time. Anyone who has seen the real musical of the past would wonder how anyone could consider this a musical. Also the two stars had absolutely no chemistry. The opening scene was good but made no sense when seeing the rest of the show.
How it won any Oscars is a huge guess, especially considering the other movies this year.
Grace (England) says
Ah, La la land. When I watched the trailer of this movie I did not know whether I’d enjoy it very much. It seemed a bit cliché and like a fantasised version of reality that we all long for but have even on the big screen lots of times, different actors same story. But I was very pleasantly surprised.
La la land captures the beauty of life, uncut all rough edges but absolutely beautiful anyway. It is a piece of drama, a beautiful combination of a script that inspires you and is packed with morals and lessons to educate you and make a point. There are fantastic actors that make an idea into life and make you forget real life in favour of diving into the world they have for you on the big screen. There are the sets that you become familiar with and starts to feel like your home and there is the music and dance that captures emotions in a way words alone never could.
In a good story you need to be completely stolen by the plot. It needs its ups and downs to make you love the characters even more and see how they react in different situations. You need to leave the cinema looking at life in a different way. This movie made a statement. When you watch it you can see reality and humanity laced into every word.
I admire the plot completely from an analytical point of view. You will leave the cinema or your sofa or wherever you are needing to talk about it, the story painted into your brain. This movie is a work of art if there ever was one.
I personally vowed to myself to take up tap dancing after a particularly beautiful scene. La la land will make you see the reality there is in dreams. Was it cliché like I thought? It was completely cliché and outrageously unique at the same time.
Mark Burnham (Murfreesboro, TN) says
La La Land is directed by Damian Chazelle and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and is about a barista aspiring to be an actress who meets a dazzling piano player who wants to one day open his own jazz club. Ladies and gentlemen this is one of the best films I have seen all year let me tell you why you need to go out and see this movie right now! Stone and Gosling’s chemistry is off the charts in this movie from their musical numbers to their scenes of regular dialogue its playful and fun and feels so genuine, I loved it.
This film is a love story at heart but also one about following your dreams no matter what obstacle or sacrifice you have to make in order for that to happen and in that sense found this film very relatable as I did Chazelle’s last film Whiplash, which if you have not seen I highly recommend. the musical numbers in this movie are outstanding as well as the music itself, this film takes place in modern L.A. but retains such a classical feel to it at the same time. The movie starts off exceptional with a number that put a fat smile on my face, which I did not lose throughout this entire movie. The dance choreography is also top notch. I highly respect the amount of work that went into making this masterpiece from the musical numbers to dance pieces and Gosling, who actually learned and is actually playing the piano.
They truly do not make movies much like this very often. I don’t think I found any flaws with this as I was captivated from start to finish. This movie dazzles, excites and is touching all at the same time. This has been my favorite movie of the year and you need to go out and experience it for yourself.