Twenty Four hours is hardly a long enough period to let a film settle in and develop any sort of retrospect, but I think the absolute control over my mind La La Land so many absolutely joyous (and some heart wrenching) scenes from that movie have had for that time makes it safe to say that I absolutely adore this movie.
I am illiterate in the Hollywood musicals of yore, even less acquainted with Chazelle’s French influences in making this movie (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rocheforte) so I can’t say anything about how well the movie lived up to its marketing that claimed to take one back to the 50s. But what I can say is that with its absolutely infectious music and the brilliant chemistry between its two leads, this musical might just have a long shelf life.
This movie speaks volumes to me on a personal level as someone who wants to enter showbiz and even before taking the plunge faces questions about the “security” of it all. La La Land might very well have been one of those movies that pushes you to take that leap of faith and trust in yourself. It very well was. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) lands a major deal playing and touring around the world with a band. He even starts his own club ending any dilemma he might have had about being a sell-out because he didn’t pursue his “original dream”. Mia (Emma Stone) becomes a big movie star, the kind she could only have dreamed of during her career as a barista, she goes to Paris after landing a big movie (well who wouldn’t give her a movie after the brilliant “Audition”). But that end came like the pinch of reality that awakens you from a dream. A beautiful dream at that. The movie spends most of its run time showing its characters in that dreamy state of trance that the title refers to, but through the ending, Damien Chazelle goes on to show the harsh realities that so many Mias and Sebastians in La La Land (L.A.) face, slogging for years on end without getting a breakout role, going on to show that we don’t always get what we want.