It only took me 7 years to watch La La Land. No big deal.

Before I go on to talk about the movie, I want to say a HUGE thank you to my friend Lori, without her demanding we watch the movie, this review wouldn’t exist and this movie would have been related to me ‘I will watch it later list.’ Now on the review!

La La Land Movie Poster 18 x 28 Inches : Home


La La Land follows an aspiring actress named Mia and a musician named Sebastian
who meet in Los Angeles and love while trying to follow their respective dreams. 
The story of La La Land is very simple and that simplicity is what allows other aspects of the movie to shine as much as they do. The lack of complexity allows for you the viewer to become immersed in the characters and the world they live in. 


Given that the movie follows two characters, for 99% of the runtime, it makes sense that the two actors who play the Ian charts have a lot of chemistry. And Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have chemistry. They play off each other very well and elicit the right feelings in you, Your own feeling of happiness, sadness and hope directly reflects the two main actors.

If I were to describe both of their performances in one word, it would be effortless. And what I mean by that is, you feel as though you are watching two real people rather than actors in a movie. Which is a testament to Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s aforementioned chemistry. 


This is the second  Damien Chazelle film I've watched after Whiplash and he is currently two for two. (I guess he is really good at directing movies about artists who get fired it tormented by a charter played by JK Simmons) La La Land is a very good movie and is very deserving of the praise that it received. Earlier I stated the story is simple and I feel like that was done intentionally to highlight not just the characters’ relationship; with each other but to highlight the world they live in. This stylized version of Los Angeles is a character in its own right. It harkens back to old Hollywood movies which serve as a very clear reference for this movie. 

The opening sequence does a fantastic job of setting the tone of the movie, and Chazelle's direction keeps in line with that then through the entire movie. Even in the more serious scenes, the tone never strays from what has been established at the beginning. 


La La Land is a pretty long movie, clocking in at 2 hours but it's two very enjoyable hours, as it is really easy to watch, and also VERY rewatchable. Now I see why Lori has seen it as often as she has.

I can’t talk (or I guess write) about this movie without mentioning the Oscars fiasco

Now having watched both La La Land and Moonlight (link to my moonlight review here, shameless plug I know) I do think that both movies deserve to win and I honestly would have been happy with either movie winning. I do have to say going back to watch the clip, the whole situation is very funny and VERY awkward. 

CGI/Set Design 

If a movie could look romantic, it would probably be this one. This is probably due to the fact that it was shot on film, something I noticed immediately. According to this article shooting on film was to preserve the colours of the film, and replicate the golden era of Hollywood. 

It might be cliché of me to say but this is my favourite scene in the film. The way the dancing is perfectly synced to the score. As well as the colours, everything manages to blend together while standing out. 

La La Land #Review | Aviously

Something I found very interesting is the use of blue throughout the movie. It was something I commented on once I finished the movie, and after doing some research I found out there is a reason for the use of the colour. 

In an article titled 'La La Land: A World of Color For The Dreamers’ Anna Miller states 

"It is not uncommon in pop culture for the colour blue to be seen as “the dreamers colour.” The same goes for the colour throughout La La Land — blue is the colour of success, or the longing thereof.”

This makes perfect sense as the story is about two people who want to fulfil their dreams of being a famous actress and owner of a jazz club respectively. The movie is about following your dream and having a colour associated with success and its longing is a smart way to relay that idea to the viewer, even though the meaning of the colour isn’t something explicitly stated in the movie. 

This article (which is really good, you should read it) breaks down all the main colours of the film, blue, red, yellow, purple and what each colour represents in the film. And after reading the article, I respect Linus Sandgren the cinematographer even more. Both he and Damien Chazelle use visual cues to draw attention to specific story beats and take the viewer on the same journey as the characters. 


As everyone knows by now, La La Land is a musical and before we started, Lori asked if I had a problem with musicals and I didn’t. While they aren’t my favourite genre, I do enjoy a good musical (e.g The Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia, and who can forget the cultural reset that was High School Musical 1,2 AND 3.) I said all of that to say that I enjoyed the music in this movie. 

Something I love more than the soundtrack in the score. When it comes to the score in musicals sometimes they can feel jarring but Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul aided Damien Chazelle in creating a world that feels as though people break out into song regularly. From the sound of traffic to the music that is sung and played by the main characters. 

The music in the film is tangible, it is a character in its own right and is used to propel the story forward making it feel as fluid as the movie looks. 

City of Stars, arguably the most popular song in the movie is one o those songs that stick around for a long time after you have finished watching the movie. It's been 24 hours since I watched the movie and I can

Overall Thoughts

I know I know, I know. You’re thinking, “How have you not seen La La Land?” Well, do you want the short answer or the long one? The short answer is, I never got around to it, and the long answer is,  I was never in the mood to watch it, and I’ve been struggling with writing reviews and watching movies over the past two years.  However, there is no time like the present here we are SEVEN years after it was released (I could have sworn this movie came out in 2018) 

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. From the story and acting to the more technical elements like score and cinematography. This is one of those movies that you watch over and over again. And I can see why Lori has seen it as often as she has. It’s heartwarming, funny and a little sad. 

I also resonated with it as someone who fell out of love with their passion. Before I wrote this review, I spoke to my sister about how I fell out of love with reviewing moves. I still love movies and I defiantly still want to write about them but it has been really hard to do that. (I detailed everything in a review from last year which you can find here ). 

Something about watching the characters at one point turns away from what they love, made me feel sad because I feel like it did that with this blog. And I don’t want to turn away from it. Much like the characters in this movie, I think it’s really important to take breaks from your passion but still give it the attention that it deserves especially if that passion aligns with your dreams.