In a total departure for me, I’ve decided to review this “little” film I saw yesterday, La La Land.
This film had me smiling all the way through, except when I was tearing up. Truly I was smiling without realizing it.
It starts with the colours for me. The wardrobe and sets are no accidents. Everything is considered. It’s subtle in places, but everything has been thought out here and appears for a reason. The balance of reds for instance in the opening singing and dancing number, is superb. All of the bright jewel tones that are chosen throughout the film. It has a distinctive look. The second number, the quartet “Someone in the Crowd” follows the same pattern. Again we get four bright true jewel tones. It’s lovely to look at and the four dresses are great. The costuming follows an updated 50’s vibe. The dresses are mostly too short for the 1950’s but the styles echo that time. Emma Stone has a couple of looks that feel very Audrey Hepburn. Pencil leg capris and flats paired with a white button up blouse anyone?
The only complaint that I have in terms of costuming is that some of Emma’s wardrobe just doesn’t fit her as well as I want it to. The yellow dress with the black flowers gapes a little around the neckline which I found distracting. The purple sleeveless sheath I love. It’s got a great looking cut, but it does some flapping around the armhole. The yellow dress Emma does the tap number in, so it’s possible that’s why the looser fit around the neckline (maybe…) but she doesn’t dance in the purple. Again, minor, but distracting for me personally.
There are lots of nice echoes throughout the scenes as well. A dance number is performed while moving through a film set we saw earlier as the Ryan and Emma were walking around the Warner Bros lot. A nod too, to the orange ad in the background where Ryan stalks the Van Beek that reappears. (I think.)
The dialogue is delivered beautifully, masterfully. One is pulled right into this story. The party scene in which “I Ran” is played, well I won’t give everything away but it’s a delight and will have you laughing out loud! Emma Stone rightfully gets the Golden Globe for this performance. She has emotive eyes for days this lady. She conveys so much emotion in her face. (If you like Emma Stone and have not seen “Easy A” go do so. A great, underrated film. Maybe I’ll review that next!) Ryan Gosling apparently spent three months learning how to play the piano for this role. I’m glad he did, it shows. Otherwise that whole part of the story would fall flat. It doesn’t fall though. Ryan is endearing, and excited about his passion, Jazz, and it works. Speaking of Jazz, and who isn’t? I was happy that the Jazz musicians that appear with him are introduced by name both on screen (Khirye Tyler, Cal Bennet, Nedra Wheeler, Javier Gonzalez , Eddie Clifton and are fully credited in the crawl. (Yes, we’re those people. The ones who sit through the credits at the end of movies, and you should too!)
Emma and Ryan do their own singing and quite a bit of their own dancing too. There is at least one, maybe two sequences where it’s probably not them, because their dancing is not super strong, but it’s accomplished enough for the task at hand and Mandy Moore (not the actress – different Mandy Moore ) does a nice job with the choreo.
The music is great, the dialogue is fast and funny and believable, the lyrics work the story. I won’t give it away, but you get a nice little “gift” at the end.
This movie is a delight! Go and see it….. right now!