La La Land, Your New Favorite Movie

Carlie Morgan, Reporter

This December, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in “La La Land”, a spectacular film about an aspiring actress and a disillusioned jazz musician who stumble through life side by side. The film is not only visually stunning, with jaw dropping sights and pretty faces, but also tells the story of a love that feels real. Director and writer Damien Chazelle (known for his two previous works “Whiplash” and “10 Cloverfield Lane”) captures every aspect of the typical relationship, from the childlike wonder of falling in love to the difficulties of fitting into each other’s lives, all while reinforcing the idea of giving everything to accomplish your dreams. And did I mention it’s a musical?

The opening sequence immediately sets the standard for the rest of the film with a beautifully choreographed dance scene on a highway, of all places. The song is sung, our characters are introduced, and the action begins under the beautiful Los Angeles sky. In a mere two hours, Chazelle takes main characters, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), through all the best and worst parts of life, from joy to heartbreak, and he does it so seamlessly that the audience feels everything in time with the characters on screen. This film is best viewed without knowing the exact chain of events, so I won’t tell you too much of the plot here, besides what trailers have already shown and general happenings.

The characters themselves are an instrumental part of what makes “La La Land” so amazing. Out of the two main characters, Mia is introduced first, an actress trying to make it in Los Angeles. Stone perfectly captures the hope and devastation that comes with struggling to make it in L.A. and adds a layer of cheeriness to this downtrodden girl, saving the movie from being just another sad story about how hard it is to make it in the film industry. Although Mia doesn’t have much luck in the acting department, she has an incredibly lucky stroke in stumbling across Sebastian playing in a restaurant. Sebastian doesn’t have much luck himself, having been recently fired from the only place he really cared about, a jazz bar he had hoped to someday own. Together the two of them build a relationship and learn how to survive in the make it or break world of Los Angeles.

This film has it all, a talented (and gorgeous) cast, a beautiful setting, relatable characters and a classic storyline with a few modern twists, but the thing that really sets “La La Land” above its competition is its soundtrack. As mentioned before, the film’s a musical and it certainly delivers. So far, only a few songs from the soundtrack have been widely released, including Sebastian’s beautiful song “City of Stars” (sung by Gosling) and “The Audition” (sung by Stone). Both these tracks were released in trailers promoting the film and have already begun to tug on the heartstrings of perspective viewers everywhere. These aren’t the only songs that will leave audiences with goosebumps; the entire score of the film is just as awe-inspiring as these two short previews. Main character, Sebastian’s influence is felt throughout the film and will leave you with a new appreciation for the wonderful romantic nature of jazz long after you finish this beautiful film.

“La La Land” isn’t yet showing everywhere, having only come out in select cities on Dec. 9. The film will be released Dec. 16 to all those unlucky North American cities who haven’t yet had the chance to see it. I was able to see this film well ahead of its release date as it was one of the many films being screened at the Austin Film Festival. That was in October, and I still haven’t been able to stop thinking about this breath-taking film. It’s enough to make you want to fly to New York just to see it again. From an incredible storyline to an amazing soundtrack, every aspect of “La La Land” comes together to form a spectacular experience. If you plan to never see a single movie again, make this your last outing to the theater. A 10 out of 10 experience, very few other films can match the larger than life “La La Land” in its pure magnificence.