MOVIE REVIEW: La La Land

Movie, movie review

RATING: ★★★★☆

 

Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, J.K. Simmons

Director: Damien Chazelle

Length and Rating: 2 hrs 8 min | PG-13

 

When people hear that a movie-musical is coming to the big screens most of them run towards the door, but La La Land is a reason why people should watch. Set in modern day Los Angeles, a location where things have changed over time but also oddly stayed the same; the film follows the story of two artists that are just waiting for their big break. Mia (Emma Stone) is a struggling actress balancing going to multiple auditions a day while also working as the barista on the Warner Brothers lot, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) a jazz pianist who dreams of one day opening his own jazz bar.

When the two characters meet and a relationship begins to form they seem like the perfect couple, but when it involves two artists where success comes to them at different times, it makes it much more complicated. You see Mia go to audition after audition, where the casting directors do not seem to give her the time of day, and Sebastian is so set on how he sees the world of jazz music that he refuses to adapt to the times he lives in. You feel for both of them, you want both of them to succeed, and do it together.

More continuing it should be stated again, THIS IS A MUSICAL. Not a movie that has musical numbers in it a la Pitch Perfect, but a legit musical, where the songs in the movie move the story forward. That alone will deter people from seeing this film, but those who make the brilliant decision to do so will not be disappointed. The film is beautiful, from the sets, and costumes, and music, it does the perfect job of being set in today’s time but also pays tribute to old Hollywood musicals from the 40’s and 50’s.

Back on the screen together for a third time (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Gangster Squad), Gosling and Stone make it a hat trick with this film. Their experience at playing each other’s love interest is valuable here because you have no doubt in believing they could be together. Both of their singing in this film is great, but if told to choose Emma Stone would lead by a hair due to her gut-wrenching solo at the end of the film which gave off very similar feelings to Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” performance. The music itself seems to be just as important of a role in this film as the characters, but would you expect anything different from the director that also did Whiplash? The songs throughout the film tie the whole story together and are so catchy that you will definitely be humming them says after you watch the movie.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Here’s to the ones who dream, as foolish as it may seem.”

Advertisements

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: RYAN GOSLING / LEON BRIDGES

Review, Saturday Night Live, Television

The Cold Open: Taran Killiam and Cecily Strong reprise their role as the inhouse Donald and Melania Trump here to give us their naughty and nice list. On the nice list are the polls and Hilary Clinton. While the naughty list includes Santa and Mark Zuckerberg, because what billionaire in their right mind would donate a majority of their wealth to charity?

Opening Monologue: Here to promote his film The Big Short Ryan Gosling kicks off the Christmas episodes expressing his love of the city during the holiday seasons. Almost as if he is from New York, but gets caught in his lies. Keeping quite about being Canadian because of America’s feelings about immigrants as of late. Joined by Mike Meyers the duo sing a Canadian Christmas tune that ends with a tap dancing Meyers.

Have to YouTube: (Alien Abduction) Out of the selection of hilarious sketches from last night, the best has to be the first one of the evening. Gosling, Kate McKinnion, and Cecily Strong play the first three American that have been abducted by aliens that are being interviewed by the Pentagon. Although it seems McKinnion had a quite different experience compared to the other two. This sketch highlight the brilliance that is Kate McKinnion which leaves  Gosling and the cast unable to keep a straight face. Which will continue to be an occurrence for Gosling throughout the night.

Weekend Update: Colin Jost and Micheal Che continue to be brilliant covering the year’s most popular baby names and the confusion of defunding Planned Parenthood. Having guests like the Glamour magazine editor (Cecily Strong) who just cannot help but flirt with Jost. While Gosling joins Bobby Moynihan as the third to his second hand new guy. Best part of the segment was the in unison “I’mmm preeeettttyyyy suuurrreee….”

Sketch to Skip: (Gosling for GQ) If the worst sketch of the night includes a singing and dancing Gosling, then I’ll take it every time. Plus continuing with the theme of the episode, Gosling breaks throughout the entire sketch.

Musical Guest: The evening’s musical guest was Leon Bridges, who people probably know best from the Apple Music Commercials. His first song of the night, “Smooth Sailing,” got the audience going being joined by a full band during the upbeat tune. While his second song, “River,” was much slower with Bridges playing electric guitar and with only a handful of backup singers. Ultimately they were fantastic performances for his SNL debut.

Best Line From the Show: “Rudolph’s not here? Then how the f*** did santa get here David?” – Ryan Gosling

Next Saturday: Chris Hemsworth with Musical Guest Chance the Rapper