We all do it…… we sit and watch an old time Hollywood classic film and mutter to ourselves as the big ‘over the top’ music kicks in and the credits begin to roll “they don’t make them like they used to.” One film kicks this notion into touch with its pure nostalgia, passion and referencing to a byegone era. And that my friends is Lala Land.
In a nutshell the film is set in the present day and follows an aspiring Jazz musician and an actress who meet, fall in love in LA and are doing the tough adult thing of following their dreams. The lesson of the film being FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, even if this means letting Ryan Gosling go!! The film is over-the-top, ridiculous at times but magical. It heavily references films like Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, An American in Paris and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The whole last sequence is basically Broadway Melody from Singing in the rain. As someone who grew up watching all of those it was rather epic to watch a modern film given the same treatment. I would never have imagined watching an ‘old school’ tap scene only to be interrupted by an I-Phone ring-tone. Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s characters dress in what I would describe as 1940’s-50’s style clothing. Due to the sets, clothing and music you begin to forget that you are watching a film set in modern day, but then you see a Toyota Prius and remember just what year it is. As I said it is pure nostalgia. It’s funny, powerful and emotional. The ending? The emotional audition scene? Have your tissues ready for these scenes.
Now for a bit more of the nitty gritty stuff. Now I can sort of see why people questioned the choice of Emma Stone. True she doesn’t have the strongest Beyoncé-type singing voice, or the typical looks of Audrey Hepburn. Yes, the majority of us see her as more of a comedy actor. But man that girl did good! I personally think it worked and she was a fabulous choice. I like that she is an unusual beauty, funny and quirky and I felt like I was watching a friend and someone I could relate too. Yes I too have had to let go of Ryan Gosling. I would say that if you are not a fan of a reprise song then you are not going to like it. Yes, the piano melody and City of Stars song do get repeated a fair bit and I felt it worked as it goes with character realization, memory and character growth. But yes, I can see that is something that people may get annoyed with. However, how can you even fault or challenge the Cinematography? It just stands out! I can’t even put into words how amazing it is. I really believe that this is the first film I have seen in a very long time that I cannot actually fault. How can you question 14 Oscar nominations?
For me Lala Land was exactly what I needed. I escaped for two hours and was taken to a ridiculously over-the-top, over-indulgent and nostalgic world. It really was LalaLand…….