Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is a Romantic and Hyper-Stylized Ode to Artistry and Dream-Seeking

In La La Land, the musical genre is simultaneously presented with a vibrant contemporaneity and a celebratory nostalgia for classic Hollywood.  Around this structure, the film espouses timeless themes of self-doubt, settling and compromise, and the drive to follow one’s dreams – especially in the context of artistry.  There are two great performances at the core of the film, Emma Stone as Mia and Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, multiple spectacular song-and-dance numbers, and a hyper-stylized aesthetic that blends reality and fantasy to perfection.  Together, these elements make La La Land a wonderful marriage of plot, style, and theme, and one of the best films of the year (and best film musicals of recent memory).

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