La La Land Dreams Big and Celebrates the Lovely and Lonely in The City of Angels –
Keys to La La Land’s Magic
Award-winning La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, is an innovative, enchanting, 128-minute musical movie extravaganza. The story tells of trials and triumphs of aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they seek fulfillment of big dreams in hard-core Los Angeles (Gelb). This essay explores several key elements that make this feature film magical and memorable.
First, Chazelle’s decision to shoot the entire film in the Los Angeles area is perfect. “Los Angeles is a city that reveals itself bit by bit, like an onion, if you take time to explore it,” he states (“The Best Places to Experience”). Like peeling the onion, each scene reveals another layer of character motivation, combined with Justin Hurwitz’ robust, original score and unparalleled visual imagery created by Director of Cinematography, Linus Sandgren. Chazelle beautifully blends of the glitz and glamor of “old Hollywood” with innovative, aesthetically exciting, au courant treatment. There could not be a better match than the City of Angels and La La Land.
Second, superb casting and performance skillfully interplayed with script, music, set, and costume design, further enhance the reality-fantasy film’s credibility. Chazelle’s powerful, poignant conclusion intensifies the already raw, heart-breaking, heart-warming emotions that weave consistently throughout this feature film. By adroitly integrating classic and contemporary, Chazelle’s juxtaposition of seemingly paradoxical elements – tradition and the break from tradition, dreams and the fulfillment and loss of dreams, love in many forms – conflict, compromise, reconciliation creates a powerful, thought-provoking message (Garcia).
If you’ve ever wondered about the dreams and loves that you’ve left behind, or if you want to be entertained by astonishing music, dancing, acting, and scenic locations, La La Land is the film for you.
Gelb, Daniel. “La La Land.” Fandango, www.fandango.com/la-la-land-188460/movie-overview.
“The Best Places to Experience ‘La La Land’ in Los Angeles.” Discover Los Angeles, www.discoverlosangeles.com/things-to-do/the-best-places-to-experience-la-la-land-in-los-angeles.
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