VENICE – Damien Chazell’s follow up to Whiplash is like the interesting B-Side to all the Hollywood musicals you know and love.
La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as a pair of starry eyed dreamers who must negotiate a path to success and fame while stay true to themselves and, as romance develops, each other. It’s about… wait a minute. The way I saw it at the festival I knew nothing about it and that added to it. The surprise and the joy are great. So I’m not going to give you the story or any of that crap. All I’m going to do is point you in the direction. It’s funny and smart and moving. Chazelle knows how to put music and images together and this makes the usual off the rack Broadway adaptation look like just that. It has the wow of a Stanley Donen film but the emotional complexity and wit of middle period Woody Allen. Romance is alive and well and living at the movies.