La La Land (US – 2016)

for Cinetalk.net

Damien Chazelle’s new musical,  La La Land, is out since Friday. Freshly nominated for seven Golden Globes, it’s going straight for the Oscars. This Award season is the continuity of a promising career which started in Competition at the Venice Mostra were its female lead, Emma Stone , won the silver Lion for best actress.

Stone, opposite leading man Ryan Gosling, is an aspiring actress going from one audition to another making ends meet by working in a Hollywood cafe. Gosling, playing a jazz musician, is also trying to make it while playing pop songs at parties. Both will meet…

Chazelle’s passions, film and music, made it almost unavoidable that he would come up with the Hollywood classic rite: the musical comedy-drama. The homage to the tradition is obvious. And it works. It’s well crafted with a good chemistry by the leads. Musical numbers and camera movements offer elaborated sequences, right from the opening with its long shots, that the director masters perfectly.

La la Land,  also bears Chazelle’s personal signature (or trademark) in defending (again) Jazz music while incorporating it into a coherent mix that is accessible to the masses. Plus the ending (that we will not display because we hate spoilers) offers a few surprises.

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