Film Review: La La Land

Love and Hardship in the City of Stars

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Dominic Savana, Cactus Editor

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are usually overrated, but not in La La Land. Second time director Damien Chazelle has taken us on another jazz-infused sojourn, this time through the golden streets of Hollywood, to explain the meaning of sacrifice and love in the most poignant way it may have ever been done on film. In a yeaar of hard-hitting art films, La La Land is by far the most beautiful expression of what American filmmaking can be.
Chazelle appears to have mastered the steady cam, popularized by Alejandro G. Iñárritu in Birdman, creating spectacular sequences in this whimsical musical about the trials and tribulations of making it in Los Angeles. Other spinning shots and close ups paired perfectly with Justin Hurwitz’s score showcase how far the art of filmmaking has come while paying homage to half a dozen influences.
We follow Mia (Stone) and Sebastian (Gosling) as they continue to cross paths. They work dead end jobs and flub shots at fame. Mia wants to be an actress, but right now, she’s a cliché. She works the Warner Bros. lot coffee shop hoping to get a glimpse of an actor or actress. She auditions daily. Seb is a jazz pianist trying to stay true to himself in a world that is losing its taste for jazz. These characters represent all of us. Most people work hard to have a little bit of happiness. Can we have it all and love? La La Land is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. You’ll have to see the film to know the ending. Trust me; it’s an ending worth experiencing spoiler free.