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TIFF 2016 Review: “La La Land” (2016) ★★★★★


Courtesy of TIFF

What is it that you need to enjoy a film through and through? It’s when your mood is in sync with the storyline. If the scene is amusing you have to experience the same. If something sad is going on, you will have to feel that too. If, for any reason, a character in the film sings or dances, you will have to feel like you’d do the same without jumping out of your seat to disturb people around. Also, we need a film that will transport us to a land we would never like to leave. A land that we would love to make as our home. Damiene Chazzele’s beautifully directed La La Land is a film that will make you feel like you’re in a sweet and warm home with full of love and joy.

Set in the modern era, La La Land follows a jazz pianist, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who falls for a young and aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone). It seems they both are meant for each other. They love music. They love dancing. They love the Golden Era of Hollywood and can talk about the meaning of jazz all day long. Each of them have a dream to follow. Her dream is acting. His dream is to become a well-respected jazz pianist. But the biggest dream for them to reach is to have each other forever.

It is hardly possible to put into words the enchanting atmosphere the film has. As you watch it, you feel like in the Golden Era of the Hollywood without the set or decoration. And how could it be, if it’s the 21st century that owns the world Mia and Sebastian live in. However, that does not stop them to create one for themselves, enjoy each other’s company and fall for each other even more deeply. Every time when you see them dancing, you dance as well.  When they sing, you just want them never stop doing it. It is almost like you’re watching the birth of something big and special that’s about to change your entire life in a better and magical way.

What can I say about Emma Stone’s performance? That she was good or brilliant? Maybe special or stunning?  But I guess we all agree, and you will after you see it, that she was completely sensational. She not only owns every scene; she brings an unspeakable beauty to this film. And when she sings, she sings like it was her who invented music. Yes, Ryan Gosling matches perfectly, as what they do together is truly outstanding, superb and one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. They both change the image of La La Land and the way of acting in a way that will bring tears of joy to your eyes every time you think about it.

Damiene Chazzele is a brilliant filmmaker who invents the fast-track path for you to reach the land he created before you realize it. In his film he shows to the world once again that the musical genre belongs to Hollywood and no one else. It’s a film for all times and can be seen any time you want. It’s a film you always wanted to be made. A film that is the main reason we go to the theater to see.

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