Monday, January 30, 2017

LA LA Land - 14 nominations

Best Picture - Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt
Actor in a Leading Role - Ryan Gosling
Actress in a Leading Role - Emma Stone
Cinematography - Linus Sandgren
Costume Design - Mary Zophres
Directing - Damien Chazelle
Film Editing - Tom Cross
Original Score - Justin Hurwitz
Original Song, "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)"  - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Original Song, "City Of Stars" - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Production Design - David Wasco (Production Design); Sandy Reynolds-Wasco (Set Decoration)
Sound Editing - Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
Sound Mixing - Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
Original Screenplay - Damien Chazelle

Two artists find each other, she an actress, he a musician.  Along the path to their individual successes, their relationship struggles as they try to support each others' dreams while remaining committed to their own.  Simple enough, right?  But then, you open the movie with Los Angelinos singing and doing a huge Broadway production number on the 105 freeway.  That's the moment I was IN.  Not in a little bit, but IN, with my whole being.  Now, I admit that my favorite movie is Gene Kelly's, "On the Town," and that this film paid homage to classic movie musicals that made up my childhood memories (NO, I'm not old enough.  We had them on VHS.)  If I'm really being honest, the comic strip that I still keep is one where Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) starts singing and adding laughter to everything he says and proclaims "I thought my life would seem more interesting with an original score and a laugh track."  Yes, Calvin, ME TOO.

But every element of this film supports the return to the age of the big movie musical, and all I can say is YES PLEASE.  La La Land ties for the most number of nominations in movie history, and for your Oscar pools, you can count on it to win a lot of them.  Who can resist Ryan Gosling with his three months of piano training knocking it out of the park?  Are he and Emma Stone the best singers? Maybe not. (Actually, Emma Stone has a fantastic voice, but this film didn't show off her chops with songs that suit her style - she is a better belter than soft singer.)  Are they the best dancers?  It just doesn't matter.  They are charming and engaging and everything musical leads should be.  (I will warn you that my mother left the theatre crying and upset about the unexpected ending, but I won't tell you why!)

La La Land manages to be classic and original.  It lands in my top three favorite films of the year.  I think it will in yours too.  Enjoy the two nominated original songs below.

And of course, the trailer:

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