Film Review: La La Land

Review by Dash Wilson.

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) a struggling jazz musician and Mia (Emma Stone), a tired and unsuccessful actress meet during a random encounter and are instantly attracted to each other.  Despite, of course, a few false starts, this attraction grows into something more. Set in modern day Los Angeles, La La Land is not a typical romantic film.  It is a movie about everyday life, the pursuit of happiness and ultimately about fulfilling the dreams we all have for ourselves but so often never chase.

David LaChazelle (Whiplash) teams up with Linus Sandgren (American Hustle) to create a magical backdrop that is full of memorable scenes. In a masterstroke, it has been shot on film (not digitally) and L.A has arguably never looked so good. Over sixty locations were used throughout the film. Gosling and Stone are also very good here, particularly Stone.

But now, some truths. La La Land has received a record amount of Oscar nominations. It has definitely reinvigorated the musical genre. Hollywood loves a film about Hollywood (The Artist, I am looking at you). La La Land is original and bold, I will give it that. It makes you feel good and is essentially a fantasy fulfilled for anyone who has dreams of being in Hollywood or being a star. Chazelle is undeniably talented, the opening scene is spectacular, and I get the appeal of this film. It is pure escapism done very well. I just don’t think it’s the best picture nor best cinematography of the year.

Reviewing all five films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 2017, Dash Wilson is a film-lover based in Brisbane and is the resident Film Critic for Australian Cinematographer Magazine.


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