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La Land, La
Year : 2016
Country : United-States

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DokBrowne  [ 10.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]


How to even tackle a review here? From the angle of a creative dreamer, a one-time aspirant to careers in writing and filmmaking who's come to terms with his poor work ethic, lack of talent, and conformity with a life of unfulfilled plans yet still lights up when he sees movies that celebrate the people who tirelessly pursue their artistic goals, with the tiny thought then kindled that hey, maybe it's not too late for me to write my own one-man show or open my own jazz club...? (so to speak)

Or maybe as a man whose passion has always been movies, who adores and idolizes the mythos of Hollywood, and for all his somewhat eclectic tastes is never happier than when an act of "pure cinema" like this comes along?

Or maybe as a romantic, a blissfully married and proudly feminine man among whose favorite films include the "Before Sunrise" trilogy, "Sleepless in Seattle", "Titanic", "Dirty Dancing", "The American President", Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing", "A Walk in the Clouds", etc. and who doesn't mind the kissing parts in "The Princess Bride" at all?

Or as both student and admirer of actors, who studies the efficacy of performance with endless fascination and has been seduced a million times over by the elixir of movie star radiance, of which Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling ooze no finite supply?

Or as someone who fervently believes that wisdom arises from understanding? That everyone has their point of view and a priceless value of the arts - cinema, television, literature, and so on - is their capacity to illuminate the humanity from all corners of any conceivable conflict, to remind us not to judge too seriously or mask our ignorance with presumption. Unlike so many romances, even many of the good ones, "La La Land" doesn't argue that a relationship can be broken by one person's mistakes; it validates the choices made by both protagonists, and finds poignancy in both misunderstanding and divergent ambitions. As Meryl Streep pointed out last night at the Golden Globes (during which "La La Land" swept up all the awards), movies needn't be marginalized as frivolous entertainment. "We have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight." I love you, Meryl Streep. You should be elected Hollywood Ambassador.

Or should I review this as a man of classic aesthetic tastes, who covets the elegance and vintage of fashion, jazz compositions, splashy showtunes, bold colors, debonair body language, and Hollywood-musical spirit of this movie?

Or as an avid pop culture consumer whose nearly equal obsession beyond films is music, any and all kinds but with a special affection for the old fashioned cosmopolitan pop of a band like Pink Martini, a Portland orchestra group who have described themselves as "like a romantic Hollywood musical of the '40s or '50s but with a global perspective which is modern", basically this entire film distilled into a band? If Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz hadn't done it on their own, they could've hired Pink Martini as consultants and ended up with the exact same movie. They were made for each other.

Or as someone who hasn't felt this overcome with the euphoric stomach butterflies of movie magic since the summer of 2001 when he witnessed the Elephant Love Medley in "Moulin Rouge!"?

Or as a nobody schnook from Escondido, California who sees the silhouettes of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling on screen waltzing among the stars and just wants to revel in the escapism of their exhilarating, bittersweet love story forever?

Because from whatever angle I approach "La La Land", it is a glorious triumph. An A+ masterpiece. In case I forget to put it in my will, can you guys tell my family to play this on a big screen during my funeral (which ideally will take place in a movie theater)? It won't be for another 30 or 40 years (hopefully), but if one of you could make a note of it, I'd appreciate that. Thanks.

Weighted Rating : 7.2
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1

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2016 1
2010's 34
All-time 834

Ranked by No. Ratings
2016 4
2010's 460
All-time 7776

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