Just like every Christmas day prior, my family piled into the car and headed to the move theater. In search of an uplifting crowd pleaser, "La La Land" delivered. The movie has something for everyone: intriguing characters, large-scale musical numbers and dynamic dance routines.
The film tells the story of Mia and Sebastian, one an aspring actress, the other an ambitious jazz pianist. However, success and love do not alway go together. This is a modern day tale of love and sacrifice with a 1950s musical twist. It's a captivating story and it'll leave you humming its tunes as you leave the theater.
One of the best aspects of the movie were its musical numbers. My personal favorite was the opening number, "Another Day of Sun" which was shot on the 105 freeway in Los Angeles. As the opening number, I was instantly intrigued and knew I was in for a treat. The cinematography made it seem like I was watching an old school musical, even though it was set in 2016: the large scale musical number used props like iPhones and Priuses. I was blown away at the meshing of two seemingly contrasting worlds.
The charisma of both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone came through in this film. From seeing both actors in movies before, I knew they would succeed with an overall good acting performance. I did not know they would be such skilled singers and dancers. Although they were not exactly Broadway material, you have to appreciate the months of training that probably went into their performances. The best display of both actor's skills were in "A Lovely Night", a singing and dancing duet.
Stone's knockout number was "Audition" while Gosling's was "City of Stars". Judging by these challenging overall performances, both will be nominated for Oscars this awards season. Although Stone and Gosling have worked before in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "Gangster Squad" this was by far their best performance as a pair.
If you love musicals, "La La Land" will not disappoint. This is both a heartwarming and heartbreaking film that is perfect to take your family to this holiday break. As one of the best films of 2016, "La La Land" will sweep you off your feet!