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4 LA LA LAND

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MATT CAIN REVIEWS LA LA LAND

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in this adorable film about a jazz pianist and an actress struggling to make it in Los Angeles. As they each pursue their dream, they’re forced to make sacrifices that threaten to destroy their relationship. It sounds like a simple enough idea, but director Damien Chazelle, whose last film was the stylistically different but thematically similar Whiplash, approaches it with such flair that the result is the most original musical since Moulin Rouge. Not all of Chazelle’s directorial flourishes work and sometimes the cuteness can be too much, but his combination of the nostalgic and the contemporary, his use of fluid camerawork and single-take song and dance sequences, and his fusion of satire and celebration are a joy to experience. The tone is reminiscent of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and, like that film, this will leave you feeling both uplifted and devastated. And La La Land may be a lovely, light, fluffy film but it’s one that’s made so intelligently it borders on the profound.

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