It’s already one of the most talked about films of the year, but is ‘La La Land’ the masterpiece it’s cracked up to be?
The story follows an aspiring actress and a jazz-obsessed pianist living in LA, and their whirlwind romance as they struggle to reconcile their dreams with reality.
The film seems to sells itself as an old-school musical, but cinemagoers expecting this will find themselves sorely disappointed. It starts musically enough, with several big, intensely choreographed numbers, but its commitment to musicality is swiftly abandoned and songs in the second half are few and far between.
This could be forgiven if the songs were outstanding, but the sad truth is they’re not. A couple are interesting lyrically, but they’re mostly rather dull and uninspiring.
What’s more, the naturalistic, offbeat style of the intervening scenes clashes with the stage-like artificiality of the musical numbers, leaving the film a tonal jumble.
It’s not without merit. The cinematography and use of colour are a visual feast, and Emma Stone gives a wonderfully heartfelt performance as Mia, although why she falls for someone as pretentious and unpleasant as Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian is anyone’s guess.
In short; it’s interesting, but far from enchanting.