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La La Land 2016

PG-13
4.1 out of 5 stars (74) IMDb 8.5/10

Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician, are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts.

Starring:
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend

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Product Details

Director Damien Chazelle
Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt
Supporting actors Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rote, Tom Everett Scott, Josh Pence
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
What a joy to see a movie that celebrates the undercurrent of hope that fills so many people... whether chasing Hollywood stardom, an artistic career, a loved one, or just a happy life in this sun-drenched sometimes-paradise we call Los Angeles. How refreshing to see a movie that is not cynical, yet trusts its audience enough to not dumb things down.
The choreography is brilliant, as is the cinematography and direction. The movie does dip a little in momentum towards the last 2/3s, only to whip up into a gorgeous, beautiful, brilliant last 20 minutes. There are only a few large production numbers, but they are great. The score is catchy, and the lyrics sound almost organic in a wonderful way. I can't stand movie stars being thrust into musicals they cannot handle just to sell tickets, but this cast is perfect - mainly because the style of music is forgiving for less than perfect voices (unlike an operetta like "Les Miserables" which is more vocally demanding). Still, the two leads do a surprisingly good job for not being highly skilled singer/dancers.
Los Angeles can be two things (not mutually exclusive): A city in Southern California, and also an archetype of sorts... a metaphor for "The perfect life" that, through the movies, the entire world has come to identify as the ideal of "Happiness" - for better or for worse. This movie focuses on the better, and that is fine with me... especially when I paid $17 for a movie ticket. Welcome to LA! ; )
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Neither actors have powerhouse vocals, yet they tackle the songs with such sincerity and joy. The musical score weaves through each scene beautifully akingside a lush purple cinematography. The best part is that none of the emotions feel manufactured even if they are intentionally placed.
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Format: Amazon Video
Theater review. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an original musical on the big screen. I think maybe “Once” from 2007. But even that movie was more about the creation of music rather it being a plot extension. This Christmas present from director/writer Damien Chazelle is a welcome gift after the gritty, somber dramas that occupy theaters during “awards” season.

Ryan Gostling and Emma Stone are a perfect pairing as two dreamers destined to come together for romance and inspiration. The opening scene is a doozy, filmed on a L. A. freeway, brought to a halt by the sheer volume. It gives the filmmakers a chance to let you know this isn’t going to be a small movie. In a magnificently choreographed number, vehicle occupants become dancers and singers moving from car to car, on top and on the ground. It is here that Sebastian (Gosling) and Mia (Stone) first interact. As traffic begins to move, Mia’s attention is on a script she’s studying. Seb sounds his horn, long and loud as he drives by. Mia flips him the bird. They meet again, eyeing each other before moving on. Then again, when Seb is playing a keyboard for a party. So coincidence aside, they strike up a conversation which ultimately becomes something more.

Mia’s 5 year dream is to become an actress, but she hasn’t had much luck. She pays the bills as a coffee house barista. Seb loves jazz, but laments on its fading popularity. An accomplished pianist, he finds unfulfilling work here and there. His dream is to open his own club. He even has a name picked out, stupid though it is. The couple begin to court and provide inspiration for each other, highlighted by a terrific sequence filmed at the Griffith Observatory. The film should be a shoe-in for Oscar nominated songs.
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Format: Amazon Video
A delight to again enjoy a magnificent film musical. And so original. It is more adult friendly than “High School Musical” but also more youth friendly than “Mama Mia.” I can’t place it as high as the latest 2012 filming of “Les Miserables” which I own and watch multiple times every year, but it did catch my fancy. “La La Land” begins BIG, with an elevated LA turnpike over-the-top dance sequence unparalleled in scope and magnitude, at least in my memory. That sets the tone for visual and audio enjoyment that continues through the remainder of the film.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play a Jazz man and fledgling actress better known for serving up latte, Sebastian and Mia (a Mia quite different than Mamma Mia) and do it convincingly in this combination drama, romance, comedy, and musical that can only be categorized accurately as simple “La La Land.”
Regardless of age, if you like music, dance and good storytelling, here’s one to view/own.
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Format: Amazon Video
"La La Land" (2016 release; 128 min.) brings the story of Mia and Sebastian. As the movie opens, there is gridlock on the freeway and for no apparent reason we get the first song-and-dance by the ensemble cast, brought in a single take lasting several minutes, and ending with Sebastian and Mia having a mini-road rage moment. It's not long before we see Mia, a barista dreaming of becoming an actress, failing one audition after another. Meanwhile Seb is an ol' school jazz pianist. When he refuses to stick to the Christmas music set list at the club where he works, and instead goes on a dazzling improvisation, he is promptly fired. Mia happens to be walking by, hears the piano improvisation, and goes inside the club... At this point we're 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest film from writer-director Damien Chazelle, who last year came out of nowhere with is impressive debut film "Whiplash". For his sophomore release, Chazelle sticks to the music world, but this time in an all-around ol' fashioned Hollywood musical. When the movie's opening titles announce "Presented in CinemaScope", you know this is going to be "just like the good ol' days", and that certainly turns out to be the case. The musical numbers are simply outstanding, and just as important, move the film's story line forward. The movie benefits enormously from the obvious chemistry between the two leads, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. While the movie's overall story arc is quite familiar, you simply enjoy the scenes for what they bring. John Legend brings an important secondary performance as Keith, the leader of a jazz/R&B band called The Messengers.
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