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Saturday, February 25, 2017

La La Land (spoiler alert)

I'm a sucker for movie musicals, and La La Land is getting good buzz, so of course we had to see it.

Before I talk about the movie, let me talk about the theater.

Most of the movie theaters around here have converted to the luxury model -- reserved seating in plush recliners.  I've gotten very spoiled.  The only theater showing The Founder, which we saw last week, has not yet converted to the luxury model, and we were not happy.  The theater in which we saw La La Land is a hybrid -- the front rows are traditional seating, the back rows are luxury seating.  there is a difference in price, of course  -- $.50 per ticket.  We splurged.

So...the film ...

The movie is set in contemporary Los Angeles, but is done in the style of a 1950's musical -- sort of a cross between Singin' In the Rain and An American in Paris.  You know what you're in for as soon as you see the word "CinemaScope"  flash across the screen.  The opening number has the population of Los Angeles singing and dancing their way through a horrific freeway  traffic jam.

The musical numbers , especially the dance sequences, are well-staged and beautifully filmed.  I especially enjoyed the one in the observatory.

But the film is not without its flaws.

I like Ryan Gosling, but...well, his character, Sebastian, is very poorly written.  A rip-off of a Woody Allen character, but without the angst, or the charm.  I lost interest in him halfway through the movie.  And Gosling will never have much of a career as a singer. I don't know why he's nominated for an Oscar for the role.  Maybe it's recognition for his other work.

Emma Stone's Mia has more depth as a character, and I did care about what happens to her in the movie.

The ending of the movie....



...is a rip-off of last year's Woody Allen hit, Cafe Society.  The key difference?  Jesse Eisenberg's character seems happy as a club owner, Ryan Gosling's character does not.

An enjoyable film, and I'm glad we saw it, but...well, I don't understand the Oscar nominations, there were better films and better performances this year.

1 comment:

Liz A. said...

I heard it wasn't a "happy" ending. The reason for the accolades is that Hollywood loves movies about itself. Is it the best movie of the year? Probably not. But Oscar front runners are popular for reasons besides the quality of the picture.

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