Thanks to this fabulous gap between the American and French release, I had all the time to wait and wait and to languish for La La Land. Already at Sundance last year, it was noted as a favorite, as a major movie for 2016 (and it’s also given favorite for the Oscars this year …). I had to see it.
Shame on me : I followed the hype, without further information … without even seeing the trailer. And it was with some surprise that I learned in the queue that it was a musical.
Opening sequence … I’m afraid … I feel the cliché coming! … and no.
In fact quickly the Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling duo sets up and the film becomes a delight at every moment. Halfway between a critic of and a declaration of love to Hollywood (and Los Angeles) the film manages to find a fine balance in the narrative, carried by their history, their dream of grandeur, their disappointment in this world of sharks …
Coming along, the image is beautiful, and for once, one can really feel the work of the real film: this little grain, these little defects betray betray with a certain sensuality. The work of photography is also unbelievable with a particular care brought to lighting and colors to the point that Los Angeles would become almost beautiful … The style will remind some les Parapluies de Cherbourg, especially on the work of colors, because for the rest, it is in the most American style. (And maybe that’s why it got its place at the Oscars!)
But what about music? Will you tell me. (After all it is a musical) As for the singers, certainly, on some songs we can feel a lack of power or chest, and some songs could tend on the silliness. But this feeling fades out quickly thanks to the excellent music. We find the dynamics of the musicals on Broadway, but with a little Je ne sais quoi else. Perhaps a different orchestration, more symphonic, or perhaps this touch of Jazz? Because yes the Jazz often returns and for the great pleasure of music lovers.
In the end, this comedy seduces by this array of flavors: melancholy, jazz, colors, romanticism, glamor, glitter … And this joyful cocktail is cleverly dosed. I have a principle not to over-sell movies that I like to avoid disappointment, but for once I will not hide my enthusiasm!
As usual more on IMDb!