Review of La La Land

M. Murphy '18

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As Emma Stone points out in her Golden Globe acceptance speech, creating “a modern original musical” is “sort of a crazy notion.” However, the film La La Land seems to execute this “crazy notion” flawlessly, as evidenced by its whopping fourteen Oscar nominations. This incredible film is truly unique and lives up to its name.

One thing truly exquisite about the film was its incorporation of modern and old Hollywood. Many of the fonts used to end the film or transition seasons or time frames were written in that signature old Hollywood font. Also, the costumes seemed quite old fashioned, though it takes place in the present. This sort of juxtaposition of the times is evident in the song “A Lovely Night,” when Mia and Sebastian are dancing together but are then interrupted by Mia’s cell phone ringing.

With many romance movies or love stories, people are normally disappointed no matter what the outcome. If the two characters end up together, people claim that the ending is too predictable. If they don’t end up together, people become discontented with the film. However, La La Land found a way to satisfy all people with a perfectly bittersweet ending. Instead of having Mia and Sebastian have a typical happily-ever-after ending, they end up apart. However, as a married Mia and single Sebastian meet, he plays their signature song and there is a montage of what could have happened had they done things differently. In this alternate reality, they were both extremely supportive of each other, and they ended up starting a family together. This ending leaves everyone happy because the ending is not cliché, but it also doesn’t leave any loose ends.

La La Land has picked up several awards, but most notably, it has picked up fourteen Oscar awards. This is very impressive, as only two other films, Titanic and All About Eve have held this many nominations. Of the fourteen, La La Land, won six, and were so close to winning seven. Unfortunately, at the Oscar awards, La La Land was announced winner of “Best Film,” only to realize after their brilliant speeches that they hadn’t actually won. There was a mishap backstage, and “Moonlight” had indeed won this award.

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