To create good music you need to have good timing. So, when you are making a modern-day musical the timing of all your movements need to be on point.

For director Damien Chazelle taking on the ambitious, audacious and in some ways outdated media of the musical with his latest film La La Land it was a bit of a risk.

But if we have learnt anything about the director, he does not shy away from a challenge.

Set in the world of glitz and glamour which is Hollywood, California, the tone of La La Land is set straight from the off, with a big song and dance along a packed freeway.

La La Land (2016)
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone)It is here when we get our first glimpse of Chazelle’s dreamers Mia (Emma Stone) and Seb (Ryan Gosling).

In terms of narrative, it is very much a boy meets girl story, with both Stone and Gosling turning on the charm offensive – though at times Stone’s Mia does get a bit tiresome to watch.

But like all good musicals, it is the tunes which throw this forward – and I challenge anyone to come out of this film not humming the tune of “city of stars”.

Even though La La Land may not necessarily be jam packed with songs every two seconds, they subtle use of Jazz in the background sets the mood for each scene as it unravels for the audience.

lalalandWith Gosling and Stone’s dancing and singing qualities sometimes coming into question, it is Chazelle’s use of the camera which makes up for any shortfalls.

The fluid movements and use of bright colours, really gives the film a throwback feel to the golden age of cinematic musicals.

As to be expected with a musical, there is so really cheesey scenes – one that springs to mind sees Mia and Seb literally dancing among the stars – but this doesn’t in anyway detract from what La La Land is trying to achieve.

La La Land has picked up a lot of traction already during award season, however, despite it visually being aesthetically appealing, there is some lack in the story which I believe may damage its chances at the Oscars.






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