In a dark scenario like the one we’re living today where both the news and the cinema present almost exclusively disastrous tragedies that pass through eras and continents, a flash of Technicolor is like catching some fresh air. Love, art, reality and passion, the subjects which the director Damien Chazelle hold dear, return to the big screen inside a small masterpiece, La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Come on folks, it’s time to dream!
Everyone’s talking about it, everything’s already been won at the latest Golden Globes. And there are few who even start to look at it suspiciously. Moreover, as I read on the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, do not forget the potential disappointment of a movie so much acclaimed in which movie fans have already stored hopes and dreams.
It’s hard to talk about La La Land with no spoilers. We’ll try. It’s no secret that it is a musical, where the main characters sing and dance amongst famous tributes to Jacques Demy movies, spinning around like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But perhaps not everyone knows that the extraordinary soundtrack was composed by Justin Hurwitz, at Chazelle’s side in all three of his feature films. Or that every Friday night the director projected the old MGM musical for all the cast&crew to lose themselves in the atmospheres of the glorious Hollywood. And here’s the result!
Yes, La La Land winks at the classical sparkly musicals, the sun comes from Los Angeles in the 1950’s, the clothes and shoes of the actors smell like times gone by, but the plot is more actual than ever, such a realistic story in which it is easy to be reflected in. This movie is dedicated to all the fools who dream, who jump into the frozen water barefoot and smile, to all those who make mistakes, but would do it again. To the ones who dream, the ones that make a mess, and to the hearts that break. Probably we don’t always get what we want in life, the movie seems to suggest, but giving up without even trying is not a fair choice.
All this makes you think that in this story there’s a little of Chazelle’s personal events who rolled up his sleeves after the little success of his first movie. He started from scratch with a small short movie to achieve, before, an Oscar nominee (Whiplash), and now, a movie unanimously acclaimed by critics and viewers. However, the disastrous screening tests kept him secured to the ground until its world premiere screening at the Venice International Film Festival! A 31-year-old director who a few weeks ago set a new record for the Golden Globes winning seven awards, thanks to the strenght of his dream and bringing to the big screen an idea that was spinning on his head since 2010.
Artworks stir the mind and the feelings, and this is good. You can linger over many things of the movie, you choose: the joyful colors, the bittersweet songs, the melancholy of times gone by, the exciting dance steps, but certainly won’t leave you cold. Personally? I laughed, I cried, I shaked my head, I floated in the air breathless. A regular story can become a masterpiece if written and directed well.
So my dear journalist at La Repubblica, I was really skeptic on this highly acclaimed movie “all hearts and love”, and I’m here to tell you: go to the cinema and do not worry, it won’t let you down!