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La La Land (2016)

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85 members have voted

  1. 1. Grade It:

    • A
      57
    • B
      17
    • C
      7
    • D
      2
    • F
      2


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6 minutes ago, That One Guy said:

 

Well...some might classify the sunset as a "skybeam."

I was gonna say the planetarium

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5 minutes ago, Ethan Hunt said:

I was gonna say the planetarium

 

See Tele?  TWO skybeams in the movie!

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God I hated the ending of this movie. Completely got the realistic depiction they were going for (especially in Hollywood) and still hated it. The scene itself was filmed brilliantly (and I knew where it was going) but when the credits rolled, all I could say was Really?...Like you couldn't show that Sebastian ended up with someone too and got something but his bar? They still wouldn't have ended up together and he still would have accomplished his dream but he got the shit end of the stick. He clearly was still crushed when he saw her.

He was the one that pushed for her to go to Paris after her dream and that's the thanks he gets? 

Honestly, I think people go to the movies to escape reality and the ending did not fit the tone of the rest of the movie. It left me thinking about it long after but not in a good light. The rest of the movie was really good. The cinematography was incredible and I loved the constant use of red and blue which added another layer to the film with the visual storytelling.

But unlike Whiplash (whose conclusion I loved), the ending left me frustrated.

But even with it, I would still rate it a B+...I'm just in no rush to watch it again. I don't care how realistic it was and understand that we can't have everything when we go after our dreams. It was still a complete downer and felt like it was being edgy to be edgy.

I don't mind non happy endings (Ex Machina is my favorite film of 2015) but it didn't work for me here.

 

Edited by somebody85
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On 12/30/2016 at 10:15 PM, baumer said:

Loved every minute of it until the end.  They asked me to spend 2 hours with two characters I absolutely adored and you watch them grow and go through good times and bad.  Then they both find a way to follow their dreams and just when you think it's going to end perfectly, she's married to someone else, has a kid and has completely forgotten about him.  He owns the bar that she named and then they see each other and they nod.  WHHHAAATTT!!!!!  You can't do that.  You can't make me love them and then tell me that it was all for not as they do not end up together.  I get that they were going to somewhat of a Casablanca type ending (all the gin joints in the world...) but I absolutely hated the decision they made to just end their relationship.

 

I still give it a 8.5/10 but that ending knocked a point off for me.  


Exactly where I stand and I usually really dislike musicals. 

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Well, you guys weren't lying about this movie. Right from the Cinemascope logo, I was absorbed into the movie. It's hard to single out any one aspect about La La Land; everything blended together perfectly. Damien Chazelle is quickly proving to be a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood; I thought Whiplash was fairly overrated but appreciated the skill and talent that went into making it. Here, Chazelle's talent is on full display, but it reaches a new level. I was in awe at so many shots in this film and wondered how they were all done. The technical side of the film was simply mesmerizing.

 

A story's biggest strength comes with its characters, and Chazelle wrote two outstanding protagonists. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's chemistry is off the charts, their performances are what completely make the characters. By setting them up as they're at low points in their careers, we can instantly relate to them. When their relationship starts becoming bumpy, the audience can feel the heartache in both of them and want them to make things right because of how invested they are in their journey. Sorry NuTella, but you're dead wrong on these characters.

 

Good movies leave me satisfied, but great ones leave me marveled. La La Land is the type of film that doesn't grace our screens often, but it absolutely shows why we need more musicals in Hollywood. I can't wait to see this movie again. 9.5/10 | A

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On 1/12/2017 at 6:49 PM, Telemachos said:

Technically, it's pretty great. Nice choreography, nice cinematography, obviously directed with a lot of verve. But (especially in the first half) I ran into a huge, huge speed bump.

 

I hated the main characters.

 

Hated them.

 

Hated every moment of their insufferable "special little snowflake" first world problems. I wanted to punch Ryan Gosling every time he was on screen. Emma Stone was vapid and felt like a stereotype of every single wanna-be ingenue/starlet ever put on screen.

 

There was zero conflict.

 

Things picked up somewhat in the second half, but man oh man. I thought I'd probably really like it. "City of Stars" is a lovely song, though.

 

C+ (mostly from the technical aspects)

 

P.S. @baumer, the final minute or two was good.

I can kinda see where you're coming from here, even if I personally disagree. The two are the sort of characters where, in the hands of lesser actors/writers, they could've easily come off to me as very obnoxious or entitled.

 

But the reason I didn't feel that way in this movie (for Mia at least, Sebastian was on the edge (and I think was deliberately supposed to come off as a bit obnoxious in a few scenes)) came down to the scene early in the movie at one of Mia's auditions in which Emma Stone was, quite frankly, fantastic. I honestly thought it was one of the best bits of 'acting acting' I've ever seen in a movie. That, to me, demonstrated that it wasn't just a sense of entitlement that drove the character but that the character herself was a damn good actress who just couldn't get a lucky break in the Hollywood world.

 

As for Sebastian, as I mentioned, yeah I think he was supposed to come off as a bit obnoxious here and there in the movie. But honestly I thought he had a fairly well done low-key character arc about compromise. He starts off completely unwilling to compromise on his classic jazz tastes (even when it gets him fired and turns him into a bit of a jerk). Then, when he meets Mia, he decides to try and provide/help her by compromising on his Puritan tastes and joining Keith's band. And honestly I don't think the movie necessarily treated compromising/joining the band itself as an entirely poor decision. The problem was more Sebastian's attitude of 'Well, now I've sold out for my girlfriend, I might as well give up on my dream altogether and spend less time with Mia/doing stuff that makes me happy. But it's all justified because I'm apparently doing it for Mia.' By the end of the movie (before the timeskip), he seems to have found a more comfortable position inbetween the two extremes. Also Ryan Gosling is a charming mofo, so that helped me like him more.

 

Also, yeah there was conflict. There was definitely conflict. Conflict between dreams and reality, love and success, hell it could be argued that LA itself was kinda the main antagonist. Was there a lot of fluffy stuff about falling in love, yeah, but that's true of a lot of romances/musicals. Is it first world problems? Yeah, but you can still make an entertaining movie about them.

 

But yeah, if the performances and themes didn't quite work for you, I can entirely get why you might find the characters obnoxious. 

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Setting up the structure of the seasons leads you to think there will be 4 seasons. So during the last season you're kind expecting in to conclude but then there's another season. 

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2 hours ago, tribefan695 said:

Watching the movie in a cold climate, the opening "WINTER" text has sort of a mocking quality.

Having seen it in Michigan, it actually got a few laughs from my audience.

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43 minutes ago, Spaghetti by the Sea said:

Having seen it in Michigan, it actually got a few laughs from my audience.

Resonated quite well in the southeast, though.

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I think Gosling's character made a very natural progression from a typical obnoxious white boy who goes on about the "magic of jazz" and acts like a pretentious dick, to someone who we learn more about and learn to love as the movie goes on. I think he had actually had a pretty defined arc here. Also, I love this fucking movie to no end. 

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So, I've been putting off the typical lengthy paragraph review for nearly a month, and that's despite having seen it twice. As such, let's go to the scattered points:

 

- Damien Chazelle and crew are so zeroed in on the classic musical aesthetic that the film already looks and feels like a classic despite being brand new and existing in a contemporary setting. That's no small accomplishment.

 

- The music is fantastic. "Audition" was the highlight for me, thanks to both the beauty of the lyrics and Emma Stone's show-stopping performance. I also loved "City of Stars," especially as it evolves into a duet when Sebastian and Mia become an official couple. Initially, I was a little more reserved about "Another Day of Sun" and "Someone in the Crowd" because they sound so much alike, but that seems like the point: the sameness of the songs of L.A. denizens outside of the two protagonists reflects the sameness of the many devastatingly beautiful and talented people who are all trying to make it there.

 

- Emma Stone has never been better. Even in a role that does not initially appear to be as meaty as her previous career-best in Birdman, she seems perfectly attuned to Mia's struggle to separate herself from the crowd as a singular talent. Instead of relying simply on effervescent charm, she weaves in enough self-doubt to make Mia seem vulnerable.

 

- Ryan Gosling is also fantastic as Sebastian. I couldn't see original casting choice Miles Teller pulling this one off nearly as effectively, if only because Gosling has enough genuine charm and sincerity to offset Seb's arrogance. It's his best performance since Drive.

 

- Round 3 of Gosling-Stone crackles even more than the first one (and I'm guessing the second as well, given Gangster Squad's weak reception).

 

- I was fully on board with the ending, and I'm glad the filmmakers committing to going in that direction. Sebastian clearly doesn't care about popular appeal and wants to do his own music his own way, while Mia yearns to be beloved starlet; one was always going to hold the other back, so their decision to go their separate ways makes perfect sense and steers the film away from what would have been a cheap ending for the sake of appeasing expectations to adhere to genre conventions.

 

A

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I really don't get what's meant to be so great about this movie. 

 

I love love love Emma Stone and she's her normal charismatic, likeable self, but I really didn't care about either of the two characters and their apparent struggles. ("Waaah I've just been offered a 50K/year job after being literally fucking unemployed but it's not my perfect dream job")

I like Gosling as well but the characters are so empty and shallow. Given that at one point a casting director says they have no script and are letting the characters form around the actors, I have to wonder if this was deliberate...

 

Aside from Stone, Gosling and a few technical feats, I found almost nothing to like. I was quite bored throughout and at one point when I went to the toilet, spent a few minutes checking Facebook as I wasn't interested in the film.

 

Oh and isn't this meant to be a MUSICAL? And yet upon leaving the cinema, I couldn't hum you one line of anything in the film. It's a musical without a single good song, and for me that makes the film an instant failure.

 

 

Edited by Treecraft

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18 hours ago, rukaio101 said:

But the reason I didn't feel that way in this movie (for Mia at least, Sebastian was on the edge (and I think was deliberately supposed to come off as a bit obnoxious in a few scenes)) came down to the scene early in the movie at one of Mia's auditions in which Emma Stone was, quite frankly, fantastic. I honestly thought it was one of the best bits of 'acting acting' I've ever seen in a movie. That, to me, demonstrated that it wasn't just a sense of entitlement that drove the character but that the character herself was a damn good actress who just couldn't get a lucky break in the Hollywood world.

 

As for Sebastian, as I mentioned, yeah I think he was supposed to come off as a bit obnoxious here and there in the movie. But honestly I thought he had a fairly well done low-key character arc about compromise. He starts off completely unwilling to compromise on his classic jazz tastes (even when it gets him fired and turns him into a bit of a jerk). Then, when he meets Mia, he decides to try and provide/help her by compromising on his Puritan tastes and joining Keith's band. And honestly I don't think the movie necessarily treated compromising/joining the band itself as an entirely poor decision. The problem was more Sebastian's attitude of 'Well, now I've sold out for my girlfriend, I might as well give up on my dream altogether and spend less time with Mia/doing stuff that makes me happy. But it's all justified because I'm apparently doing it for Mia.' By the end of the movie (before the timeskip), he seems to have found a more comfortable position inbetween the two extremes. Also Ryan Gosling is a charming mofo, so that helped me like him more.

My problem with this is that Mia doesn't seem to have a personality outside of "wants to be an actress". Don't really see anything remarkable about Sebastian either, outside of "wants a Jazz club".

 

Sure, they sing (poorly) and dance (woodenly), but is there anything else to them?

Edited by cannastop
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15 hours ago, cannastop said:

My problem with this is that Mia doesn't seem to really have a personality, outside of "wants to be an actress". Don't really see anything remarkable about Sebastian either, outside of "wants a Jazz club".

 

 

 

Yeah, the movie didn't flesh out Mia at all, she's a cipher. Like when she's talking about her autobiographical one woman show in jest and never we're shown any of its actual content at any given moment in the movie (when we have to endure Gosling's elevator jazz music throughout the whole movie). All you see is Mia's audition outtakes for that awful "Dangerous Minds meets the OC" TV crap. Then in Audition, (after being won back and convinced by her soon-to be ex-boyfriend) to apply for a non-written role which will be based and revolved entirely on the main actress background (how convenient), she repeats the aunt's story she told to her boyfriend previously in the movie like it's supposed to give her depth and personality (It robs her of any agency actually, at the end, I still don't know her much more than at the beginning, she feels hollow, shallow and thinly written, undefined).

 

it seems like the movie just wants you to buy her at face value despite the thin characterization because it assumes you love Emma Stone (and pairing her with Ryan Gosling) to coast entirely on the fact that you're obliged to find her cute and adorable just because she is in real life, duh. Too bad, I'm not a member of their respective fanclubs, I need more to buy them as fully fleshed individuals and why I should care about them more than a passing crush based on past movies. I find that egregious how it relies on such thin premise for you to buy the entire (thin) narrative, rambling on "artistic integrity vs compromise" when Chazelle (and most critics) thinks he represents the former painting Seb's gig offered by Legend on a silver plate as "selling out" (like he's contractually bound to stop playing and recording "pure jazz" solo with his "sell-out" big pay cheque during days off...LOL Cry me a river, spoiled douche) but is lavishly bound to nostalgia of better Hollywood studio movies from 50 years ago, cast bankable stars instead of giving a chance to great performers all around (Broadway got no shortage of those triple threats), doesn't care if they don't meet the talent requirement to star in a proper musical, wave it away and brush it off "hey don't they look cute, aren't they lovable? Love them!"

 

Quote

Sure, they sing (poorly) and dance (woodenly), but is there anything else to them?

 

This is the "Musical-throwback-to-Hollywood-Golden-age" wherein actors can't really sing great and can't really dance that well even if it really looks painfully rehearsed and set up, antithesis to the jazz spirit Seb can't stop babbling about (the camera sometimes "dances" more than the actors themselves to trick you into thinking there's more movement on screen than there actually is to overcompensate their stiffness and ankwardness).

Edited by dashrendar44
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Gave it a B from me - liked it, thought it was a solid, entertaining movie but didn't love it. 

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Finally saw the movie. This has to be the most overrated movie of 2016. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice movie but that's it really. The insane hype this is getting is crazy and bizarre. And how the f*ck is Emma BA frontrunner? Hell even Gosling was better than her.

 

Rating B-

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So this is actually the first live-action musical I've seen. I love animated musicals but wasn't completely sure that would translate to live-action.

 

Good news is I really liked the musical parts, I'm definitely open to watching more live-action musicals. I did like the movie overall as well, but I didn't quite love it. The acting was great, the technical aspects were great to the extent that I can tell, and I was engaged with the story -or at the very least not disengaged. But I think the two main reasons why I didn't quite love it were that the characters - particularly Mia - felt thinly developed, and the ending didn't work for me.

 

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate Seb or Mia like Tele did. I thought they were in "La La Land" at the start, but I figured that was the whole point so it didn't bother me. The film does show Seb getting his head out of La La Land, but it seemed to happen all at once rather than developing over time. But with Mia we sort of see her slaving away over her one-woman play without actually seeing it, then she goes to completely giving up, then she gets lucky, then we skip forward five years. It might be that if I had more familiarity with the industry (I have none), I'd fill in the blanks better. But in any case, while I kinda-sorta felt bad for her, I never got to that point where I was really, really rooting for her.

 

None of that is on Emma Stone, I could easily have forgotten that she's actually a successful actress playing a wanna-be actress.

 

As for the ending - it just didn't feel like it was where the movie was going? Like, maybe Seb might have had to give up on his jazz club dream, but they'd settle down together? Or maybe even get both, in some way that feels like the result of hard work and perseverance? Maybe that is a more realistic ending (although his jazz band would have had to start doing really, really well at some point) but the film was otherwise pretty fantastical. Maybe I just watch too many Disney films.

 

Overall, B+.

 

An aside: I tried to look for some internet commentary on this, on this site as well as using Google, and couldn't find any. Was the camera going very slightly out of focus during the more fantastical scenes like the opening number, or the floating at the observatory? I thought that was clever, but it was so subtle I couldn't be completely sure.

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One of the few 10/10's I've ever given.

 

The ending of this really blew me away. It just perfectly encapsulates the whole movie. Wonderous, joyous, magical... but very real. It really grounds the whole thing in a harsh gritty reality that is very relatable and very human. Little choices in life that lead to massive changes in circumstance and while you regret it you can never do anything about it. It will haunt you but you can only smile at what might have been and move on. I thought it was absolutely beautiful. 

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