Sunday, January 15, 2017

La La Land (2016): Review

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I am sorry to say that this movie did not meet my expectations although I was trying not to expect too much. With La La Land winning several Golden Globes last week, I was expecting it to be an almost perfect movie that kept me interested and did something unique. I was disappointed with the whole movie, especially as every moment I started to like what was going on it would then do something that I didn't like took me out of it. Although there were some cute moments and I enjoyed the basic story of the movie, they did too many weird things and tried to cram different styles into it. It became not weird interesting but weird disjointed for me.
La La Land is a movie musical that stars Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a jazz musician who is trying to keep classic jazz alive and Emma Stone as Mia, an aspiring actress. It is set in four parts (winter, spring, summer, fall) where these two get thrown together and are struggling to make their dreams come true.  It is pretty balanced with incorporating these two parts together (interactions with each other and following their dreams). There are also lots of other characters in the movie but the main ones are these two.

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This movie is a musical and if you know me I love most fun musicals. This one tried for fun but just ended up just being strange. I couldn't figure out if the musical numbers were suppose to be more like dream sequences and didn't really happen or if they were part of the plot and it was normal for the characters to just start singing and dancing. The really only musical parts that really worked for me were the parts where it was about the characters as musician, especially Sebastian, and where Mia sings in one of her auditions. The rest as I said were hard to understand how they were suppose to be part of the film and I will put the dancing sequences into this. I think all of the dancing didn't really fit in the movie. I think there needed to make it more consistent in feel with the singing and dancing being incorporated in a more natural way. It may have been better if Emma Stone was a stronger singer and dancing but I am not sure that would have even worked.
In general I am a fan of the chemistry between Gosling and Stone  but in this movie the chemistry wasn't as natural as some of their other movies and there interactions seemed forced. Both have done better playing off each other and when the main thing of the whole movie is about their interacts and intertwined story this is a let down.

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This movie tried too hard to be cutting edge with a nod to the past but it didn't really work. It was just over the line of thinking too highly of itself and this affected my enjoyment of the movie. There were moments that were fantastic and that I thought were really cute and sweet but it seemed like when I was starting to like the movie it would do something to mess it up. And I really disliked the way it ended. Again I couldn't figure out what it wanted me to think was going on, and it left me feeling unsatisfied. I didn't hate the movie and think that it would have been better if I did because I would have at least felt a strong emotion at the end.

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This thing that this movie did really well is the cinematography, staging, sets, costumes, and scores. All the supporting parts of the movie (not plot or acting) were absolutely fantastic. It was a gorgeous film to watch and I kept noting how all the little details were fantastic. Even during the dance and singing sequences where I didn't like how it was disjointed from the movie were beautifully staged and choreographed. I want all the wardrobe in the movie and loved the styling. The score was really great, although at times a bit repetitive, but this seemed intentional as the music was woven into the story and what the characters were experiencing.

This movie is for people who like things that are more artistic and although it seemed like the movie was going for something a little more intriguing there wasn't anything surprising in the story. It was okay but not up to the standards I want for award winners. The parts that I thought were fantastic were the auxiliary things, like the production value and the like.

My Rating: 2

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