#JustWatched La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2017)

February 13, 2017

It's a nice film. It's problematic. It's very white. It's clearly made with Generation Y in mind, especially when you're casting Stone and Gosling. It's made for the generation that was told they can be anything they want. They can aspire to be anyone they want. Maybe I can be too cynical but it's made for the hipster generation. They look back on the past with rose tinted glasses and defy today to do better and this is embodied in the characters of Mia and Sebastian. I guess the nostalgia becomes a little too sickly for me. I think the film is trying to make a point about that but it seems to be getting missed because of the lovely music and beautiful romance that's happening on screen. The message is that ultimately, you can't have it all. The stars don't always align and sometimes you have to prioritise. Bit of a hard pill to swallow for most, myself included.

 

Some of the songs really stand out but while Stone and Gosling might be nice singers, they're also really soft singers, which means everyone in the film (barring John Legend) sings really softly too, making it difficult to hear what they're all singing about. But the music is phenomenal and the songs City Of Stars and the Audition make up for any lacklustre performances.

 

The film is far too long for what it is. There's very little plot and the pacing is quite slow for the first half. Once it picked up speed I found myself enjoying it a lot more.

 

I sound like I'm tearing into it. I think it's a good film but I don't think the entire piece deserves all the praise it's getting, there are much better films out there at the moment with better performances that add more to the conversation. However, the last twenty minutes or so were wonderful. I was transfixed, I was emotionally plugged in. But I'm not sure if the first one hour and forty minutes were worth it.

 

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© Adam Gunton

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