Friday, December 23, 2016
LA LA LAND
I mostly went to see LA LA LAND for Emma Stone, who so far in her movie career has never let me down. In LA LA LAND she sings and dances (a lot of critics felt she wasn't polished and advanced enough in either to be the star to bring back Hollywood musicals, but I found her less-than-perfect chops, as both dancer and singer, endearing and totally engaging). But she also acts herself into Oscar worthy dramatic scenes in the midst of comedy!
I found the audition scenes, and other Hollywood realities I had decades of experience with, as real as any drama, which is saying something for a musical. The scenes involving Gosling's character's music career a little less so. There are plenty of improbable and inconsistent plot turns, but there are also some very realistic scenes about youthful dreams of stardom or just personal agency and the challenges the world throws at them.
In the end, it isn't, for me, the "best" picture of the year, but it's certainly one of the best, and so far the most delightful.
[PS: I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen where the almost classic color palette shines brightly and the romantic leads look almost as glamorous as the leads in golden age Hollywood musicals.]