La La Land
The opening sequence – the traffic jam on a Californian highway overlooking Los Angeles was promising and set the bar for the rest of the musical, highly energetic, colourful and good singing but it was downhill from there.
Are we missing the point? La La Land got us thinking when 3 people walked out of the cinema last week on the opening night. Was it overated? Music seemed good but the score was virtually the same throughout. Then you realise that it was meant to be so it sticks in your mind for the second time around you watch it – which you should. It definitely takes two viewings!
The ‘what’s that all about?” ending is a shock as you want it to turn out like those sentimental old musicals we are so used to nostalgically watching. The beautiful mess this modern day world leaves this romance which could have been in is a clever twist on the old fashioned musical.
S0me clever camera work, like the camera lens shutting down like the iris of an eye in the Observatory scene, reminiscent of the silent movies of the past. That amazing face of Emma Stone, those big doe eyes and the annoying snob like attitude of Ryan Gosling in his character of Sebastian draw you in and his most ecstatic outburst as he tells her about the amazing ‘draw’ of Jazz and how wonderful it is wakes you up somewhat. Sebastian’s distinctly flat voice and his awkward playing, I have to admire the guy for only learning to play the piano from May 2015, left a sour taste in my mouth.
Maybe it’s my age (middle age) but I have seen so many musicals, fantastic ones at that and this struggled to emulate that for me. Maybe I am getting cynical in my old age but I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about. On a second watching I was more prepared for the shock ending and the tunes were firmly in my head but I have to say Vincent Minelli still ‘does it’ for me and La La Land was not what I had expected.