La La Land Review – Overrated or a Masterpiece?

David Chazelle’s critically acclaimed musical ‘La La Land’ was by far my most highly anticipated film of 2017, so when my mum and I finally hit up the cinema I could barely contain my excitement.

The film begins with a bright, high energy musical number on a highway as a myriad of enthusiastic, soon to be struggling actors, singers and dancers are stuck in traffic, awaiting entry to the land of hopes and dreams – Los Angeles. The film was absolutely beautiful, the costuming and sets brought the story to life and I completely fell in love with the classic 1960’s musical vibe in this contemporary film. The plot was something different to most romantic comedies, in that both characters are struggling in their own way and the film in turn wonderfully reflects their journey together, helping one another survive and ultimately find success in Hollywood. The film perfectly captured that feeling of falling in love, where everything is perfect, whilst also hitting us hard with the pain and heartbreak that comes with love.

La La Land (2016) Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone)

Although i loved the plot, i felt i needed MORE of everything!! The love between Stone and Gosling’s characters was beautiful, but not quite everything I wanted. Chazelle, in my opinion, should have shown MORE of their love story through dialogue and action, rather than the typical rom-com montage cop-out that he used. I did love these character’s romance, but when everything began to fall apart I was not as upset as I should’ve been because the love between these characters wasn’t as strong as it should’ve been. Greater character development was needed to really capture my heart on this one.

As for the score, yes, it was absolutely electrifying, but I struggle to describe this film as a musical because, unlike classics such as ‘Wicked’ and ‘Grease’, the songs in ‘La La Land’ did not drive the plot as far as they should have. I love musicals, and I believe that the songs should really capture every feeling, desire and hope of the characters in such a way that the songs tell the story. In this film, however, the songs were just not memorable and at times felt unnecessary. It’s hard for me to describe my feelings about this film, but essentially, it felt like a movie with songs in it, rather than a true musical. Sure, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were wonderful actors, but their vocals were weak and the choreography was nothing impressive. overall I was disappointed by the musical aspects of the film – It did not make me want to dance all night as other musicals surely have.

If you read my trailer reaction, you would know that I really wanted to fall in love with this film, but unfortunately I just…didnt. But don’t get me wrong, ‘La La Land’ was still a brilliant film and thoroughly enjoyable, it’s just not a film that I would place as one of the best musicals of all time.

‘La La Land’ Film: 7/10

‘La La Land’ (2016) Trailer Reaction!

We all know trailers for being those pesky shorts aimed at giving the audience a peek at the film, but instead spoil the plot, character relationships, jump scares and basically every other important aspect of the film. I generally stay away from trailers like the plague, however, when I saw the teaser posters for Damien Chazelle’s 2016 film ‘La La Land’, I couldn’t help but watch!

The musical comedy-drama set to hit theatres in December, 2016 stars academy award nominated actors (and personal favourites of mine) Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as they sing, dance and fall in love on screen. I’ve got to say, I didn’t have very high expectations of the film when I’d first heard about it- Although I love both actors, the Stone-Gosling love story is getting a little old after Gangster Squad AND Crazy Stupid Love- But THIS TRAILER BLEW MY MINE!!

The score starts out as a soothing piano piece played by Gosling which truly invites the audience into the world of starving artists that is Los Angeles, when suddenly an intense and unexpected kiss throws the trailer into an epicly vibrant musical atmosphere. The bright and fresh jazz score and quick cut montage sequence of the colourful costumes, lights and brilliantly shot choreography really awakens the audience from their deep, miserable slumber. I have always been a lover of musicals, and this film appears to be exactly what Hollywood has been waiting for- something with heart, soul and tap dance! ‘La La Land’ is the first film I have been excited for in a long time, the trailer shocked my system in the best possible way and I absolutely cannot wait for it to hit theatres!!

Love,
Aly xx

Predicted rating: 8/10

‘Begin Again’ film review

Hey everyone!

So, in recent times I’ve been feeling a dry spell in terms of great movies- It’s seemed like everything I watched was awful!! So, I’d resided to the fact that films were no longer good, and with little expectations, I decided to check out John Carney’s 2013 musical/comedy drama ‘Begin Again’ AND IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!

At the time of the film’s UK release in 2014, I decided against watching it in the cinemas, as I didn’t want to waste my time and money on something that seemed so clichéd and flat, however, as I sit at my desk typing this I can’t help but wish I had gone to see it in theatres, as I can only imagine how much more magical this film would’ve been on the big screen.

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‘Begin Again’ is genuinely one of the most heartwarming films I’ve ever seen in my life!! The cast was phenomenal, with Mark Ruffalo playing the drunk, washed up music producer Dan Mulligan and Kiera Knightly as the sarcastic, yet lovable unknown talent Gretta James. Ruffalo and Knightley’s on-screen chemistry was palpable and beautiful! Adam Levine, best known as the lead singer of my favourite band (and favourite meme) ‘Maroon 5’ was surprisingly wonderful in the film, he wasn’t just your typical, one-dimensional douche bag! Levine’s character Dave Kohl actual has layers, to the point where you almost feel sorry for him by the end [or maybe that’s just me and my die-hard crush on Levine 😉 ]. But nevertheless, the entire cast was amazing!!mark-ruffalo-and-keira-knightley

As for the musical aspect, I absolutely loved the original songs! They were the perfect mix of indie and pop to give the film that feel-good mood! My favourite song, ‘Lost Stars’ is such a beautiful piece (which was nominated for an oscar!). Honestly, I just can’t get any more excited about this film!! Sure, it had quite a few montage sequences (which i usually find annoying) but they were executed so well that nothing could have peeled my eyes from the screen! As Knightley and Ruffalo stroll around New York City at night listening to music through a headphone splitter, i felt my heart flutter like I’ve never felt it before- Just for the record, I am one of the most pessimistic, perpetually annoyed people you will ever know, and yet this film managed to bring me back to life!

The film was genuinely hilarious! The dialogue at times literally had me in tears!! But at others, Carney pulls at your heartstrings without being cheesy in the slightest! That’s what I really love about this film, its originality and creative concept, brought together by such a marvellous cast and cinematography. Overall, the characters were developed quite well- although I would’ve liked to have seen more of Haliee Steinfeld’s character. ‘Begin Again’ was just such heartwarming and inspiring story about following your dreams and loving what you do, no matter what others say- it definitely renewed my faith in Hollywood!

Love,
Aly xx

‘BEGIN AGAIN’ FILM: 8/10