La La Land (2016) - SPOILER-FREE Review


Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe, Tom Everett Scott, Josh Pence

Runtime: 128 min

After the success of Whiplash, Damien Chazelle brings us an original musical about the journey of pursuing our dreams and all of the hope and pain that that path leads us through.

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a passionate jazz musician and both of them are struggling to reach their similar dream: to live doing what they love the most.

At the very beginning of every year, I write a list of all of the movies that I've been anticipating for a long time (mostly based on comic-books) and those that either have a good premise, a good director and/or a good cast. La La Land didn't have a release date in January (I think), but even if they had, I'd have probably left it out (maybe I did). I don't have a least favorite genre, I enjoy watching every type of movie, but musicals are by far the ones that I find to be less interesting or even well-made so, even with a great director and cast, I only got the urge to watch this film because of all of the Oscar talk and the beautiful soundtrack that I've been listening to in the last couple of days ...

Perfect. Magic. Absolutely stunning. I don't have words to describe how AMAZING Chazelle's direction is. I mean, anyone can enjoy this film because it IS great entertainment, but the amount of work that they had with this MASTERPIECE is unbelievable. Extremely LOOOOONG takes, over and over again, with excellent synchronized choreography and an original score to remember forever and ever. Every single shot drops such marvelous quality that I kept being surprised every single scene. This is the best directing skills that I've seen from a director since God knows when. Congratulations, Damien Chazelle. You won yourself an Oscar, a Golden Globe and every other award that honors the man behind everything.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are incredible and I can't imagine any other actors portraying their roles. Gosling is the usual funny, charming and loving guy, while Emma Stone definitely has her career-best performance (even better than on Birdman), worthy of many awards. The way they interpret the songs is so captivating and emotional that they just make the music even greater (watching besides listening gives it such a more compelling meaning). The score is so beautiful and heartfelt that it's impossible to explain through words the feelings one has as listening to them ... Just fantastic.

My only concern with the movie was the romance and the overall story, I thought it would be super cliché and follow the usual paths that this type of films have ... Nop. Even the story is great. I mean, I don't want to spoil anything, but let me just say that cliché is not a word that I'll use to describe this movie. It doesn't follow anything, it has its own original story and the romance is super smooth as the actors' terrific performances. It FEELS real.

I never thought I'd say this, ever, but ... La La Land is (probably) the best film of 2016 and my favorite, for sure. One of the best direction I've ever seen from anyone (please, Damien Chazelle keep going!), an absolutely pitch-perfect duo (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have a perfect chemistry), a fantastic non-cliché original story about pursuing dreams and the most beautiful and heartfelt soundtrack that I'll listen over and over again for God knows how long ... Magical. Rememberable. I can't wait to watch it again!!!

|  A+  : 9.3-10 |  A : 8.7-9.2 |  A-  : 8.0-8.6 |  B+  : 7.3-7.9 |  B : 6.7-7.2 |  B-  : 6.0-6.6 ||  C+  : 5.3-5.9 |  C : 4.7-5.2 |  C-  : 4.0-4.6 |  D+  : 3.3-3.9 |  D : 2.7-3.2 |  D-  : 2.0-2.6 |  F : 0-1.9 |

| A+ : 9.3-10 | A: 8.7-9.2 | A- : 8.0-8.6 | B+ : 7.3-7.9 | B: 6.7-7.2 | B- : 6.0-6.6 || C+ : 5.3-5.9 | C: 4.7-5.2 | C- : 4.0-4.6 | D+ : 3.3-3.9 | D: 2.7-3.2 | D- : 2.0-2.6 | F: 0-1.9 |