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Review: ‘La La Land’ poised to sweep Oscars

From the director that brought us the Academy Award winning movie Whiplash, comes another Oscar bound movie, La La Land, the story of a struggling actress and jazz musician trying to make it big in Hollywood. La La Land presents us with a plot that we have all seen before, but the characters, the actors, the cinematography, and the music all make it feel new and dynamic.

The love story between the two main characters, both believable and heart-wrenching, is the main focus of the movie. Mia, a barista for Hollywood’s best and brightest, played by Emma Stone, has been trying to become an actress for all of her life, but can never find the right roles. Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, is a modern day jazz musician who dreams of bringing back jazz clubs.

Gosling and Stone succeed where many mainstream actors and actresses do not, proving that they have actual musical talent. Frequently great actors try their hand at musicals but fail because their talent in acting doesn’t translate to song and dance. Their dancing and vocals prove that they are highly qualified to act in any musical role. Their talent really makes the movie work. Without it, the film would have fallen flat.

It is no coincidence that Stone and Gosling have been cast together before as the pair have a dynamic chemistry makes the romance beautiful and believable.

The plot is anything but original. They make an unlikely pair — Mia as a starry eyed girl and Sebastian as a the jaded musician — but together they find love and change each other for the better. This story has been told a million times, but Gosling and Stone bring the characters to life. Mia’s quirky antics are an extension of Stone’s signature acting style, and Gosling makes Sebastian seem smooth and charming despite the character’s brooding disposition.

While the actors are amazing, the real stars of the show are the music and the cinematography. The movie is filmed in cinemascope and is filled with a wardrobe of bright colors that perfectly reflect the mood of each scene. The shots are dazzling and intriguing. The filming style harkens back to an old Hollywood filled with stunning colors. Accompanying this gorgeous style is a soundtrack that is dynamic and filled with great vocals featuring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and John Legend.

La La Land is an attractive candidate for an Academy Award, and it is nominated for a record-setting 14 awards.. The movie won seven Golden Globes, including Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. There is no doubt that this movie is highly deserving of the accolades that it has and will receive. It’s whimsical and fun, but it is also emotional and meaningful. It appeals to many audiences, even to those who don’t particularly like musicals.

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