17 January 2017

Review

"La La Land"
directed by Damien Chazelle

You know how it is. You go to watch a film with someone and afterwards when you have negotiated your way past the other cinemagoers, one of you says, "What did you think?" Well I went to see the much-acclaimed "La La Land" on Sunday with Mrs Pudding and it turns out she had been surprisingly underwhelmed by  the spectacle while I thought it was delightful with beautiful imagery and a fluidity both in the storyline and the camera work.

"La La Land" sounds like it might be the place where we are all currently living but up there on the screen it was a beautiful, light-hearted place of song and dance, a place where dreams can come true and where there are many subtle nods to the history of Hollywood and its musicals.

At its centre there's Mia played by Emma Stone and Sebastian played by Ryan Gosling. She is a wannabe film actress and screenwriter while he is a frustrated jazz pianist. Their lives collide and they find love. It's a familiar story.

The Los Angeles background to events is a clean and underpopulated place of happiness and hope. No down and outs pushing trolleys, no smog hanging over the city like  a quilt - but you wouldn't want that. It's not that kind of film. This is a joyous fantasy.

A  musical thread runs through the show, "City of stars, are you shining just for me?". It kept echoing, linking the developing plot as Mia and Sebastian find themselves in a dramatic battle between ambition and the heart.

There were so many lovely images. Our two stars dance amidst the stars and upon stars reflected in water. They visit the famous Griffith Observatory which featured in, amongst other films, "Rebel Without A Cause". They see live jazz and the lights of Los Angeles twinkling in the valley below. Yes, it's quite, quite lovely. A beautiful escape from this other "la la land" of Trump and Brexit and drowning refugees. At least that is what I thought.

20 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie, and have been since I first read about it months ago.

    Also, when I learned about the hard work and long hours Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone put in for their roles I became even more keen.

    Gosling apparently learned how to play the piano, two hours a day, six days a week for over three months; and he also honed his dancing skills over long hours each day for about the same length of time. He had some dancing experience from when he was a child; when he was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club, alongside the likes of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

    Similarly the hard work Emma Stone put in behind the scenes for her part in the movie. A lot of dedication shown - and much practice done - by both stars.

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    1. I didn't know about that tough practice regime but I tell you - it worked. I hope you enjoy the film when it reaches Tamborine Mountain in about 2022.

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    2. Oh...here we go again!!

      Actually, the movie is being shown up here at our local little theatre this coming weekend, Yorkie.

      I'm not sure why lately you've taken up the unattractive art of digging, or, for that matter, why I've become the target of your 'humour'; but as I said the other day, I've been mocked by experts - no pressure.

      Tamborine Mountain is only a little over an hour from Brisbane (capital of Queensland) and 48 minutes from the Gold Coast, the second largest city in Queensland; the sixth largest in Australia.

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    3. Sorry for being mischievous Lee.

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    4. No worries, Yorkie; no harm done.

      This movie is being filmed nearby here at present - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2557478/

      I'll see if I can score a role as an extra or perhaps one as a supporting actor...if so, I'll give you a wave to enable you to pick me out from the crowd.

      If it's too late for me to nab a part in that one....I'll try this one.

      https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/15/aquaman-movie-to-be-filmed-on-gold-coast-after-cash-boost-from-government

      Filming hasn't begun on this one yet, but it's due to start soon. Amber Heard swore she'd never set foot in Australia again after we booted her and her two little dogs, Pistol and Boo out when she'd smuggled them in, undeclared, last time she was here when ex-Johnny was filming a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie back in 2015.

      Maybe if Heard's not allowed back into the country for breaking our quarantine laws I could take over her role!!! I'll keep you posted. ;)

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  2. I have heard a few positive reviews of La la land. Maybe I'll go see it.

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    1. It will probably be a big winner at The Oscars Kylie... and I understand why even though I usually enjoy more serious films about real life.

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  3. I was surprised to hear that La la Land was a musical - I thought it was the Nigel Farage biopic and his special relationship with Daffy Donald Trump.

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  4. A couple of my book club pals are planning to see it this weekend and have invited me to come along. I originally thought to decline, but since you liked it, maybe I'll give it a shot. :)

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    1. Give yourself a nice treat Jennifer. You deserve it after the dental episode.

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  5. Well, I guess people are allowed to have different opinions on movies. I'll throw another one at you . Men and women quite often have different opinions on stories.

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    1. I guess The Micro Manager likes shoot-em-up action movies while you like soppy rom-coms.

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  6. If I remember John (Going Gently) went to see this a few weeks ago and gave it the thumbs up.

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    1. I doubt it Mrs Weaver. It was only released in Great Britain last Friday.

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  7. Strange that you write about it, I just had a conversation with my oldest daughter who really truelly wants to see this and I was thinking it was something like Woody Allens, Everybody says "I love you".
    Was it maybe "Rogue One" John went to see, or was that his nephew...? Thank you anyway, mr Pudding, I think we'll go see it!!

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    1. You might be a bit like me Fairtrader - normally going for films that make you think and have a realistic feel about them. This isn't one of those films but in its niche it is still triumphant.

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  8. I've heard about the movie and it is a possible candidate for an evening out with my girl friends, or maybe with O.K. who is not averse to a bit of escapism.

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    1. Well I hope you enjoy it. It certainly has a "feel good" factor.

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  9. Oddly last night I received an email from a friend in New Zealand who had been to see the film with his wife. He was definitely unimpressed as was a fellow blogger who posted today. It won't stop me finding out for myself though.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.