Skip to main content

Movie Review: LA LA LAND

Year: 2016
Director: Damien Chazelle
Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt, Gary Gilbert
Screenwriter: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance Film, Drama Film

Sebastian, a struggling jazz pianist, and Mia, an aspiring actress, fall in love with while pursuing their dreams in present-day Los Angeles. 

Rating: 4/5

The opening act of this film was impressive in that it was different from the usual and had some of the excitement and action usually associated with a climax. From beginning to end, every action or dialogue is mesmerizing, purposeful and bold. 

Sebastian and Mia are a bit new to Los Angeles, and still adjusting when the story begins. Mia works as a barista in a coffee shop while often attending auditions in an effort to realise her dream of becoming an actress. Sebastian plays the piano at a high-class restaurant, where he is really unhappy because he is not allowed to play jazz music.

In a particular scene, he says to Mia, "It's conflict, and its compromise, and its new! Every time. Very very exciting. And its dying. Its dying on the vine. And the world says, 'Let it die. It had its time', well not on my watch!". Here he reveals his plans to have his own club. Sebastian later joins his former schoolmate's band and tours with them, while Mia continues to struggle to find acting roles by attending auditions. The separation puts a strain on their relationship, but this is only the first of several challenges they face while holding on to their love and their dreams at the same time.

Emma Stone's character was a little flat(which should in truth be blamed on the writers), but she delivered a good performance. Ryan Gosling threw himself into the character, playing the instrument like a virtuoso, portraying the role with ease, like a natural. Chazelle has proved his mettle as a very capable Director with the success of his second feature film Whiplash in 2014. La La Land shows further improvement in his skill. He controls mood, set, lightning and action in such a way that one would find it hard to believe he had only ever directed four feature films. The retro theme added to the aesthetics of the film is well-suited.

Considering the fact that this movie is a musical, the producers did not take any chances with the quality and suitability of its music. Justin Herwitz, the director of music, went all out with the compositions. Gosling and Stone stunned us by delivering the songs quite well for people who are not real life singers, for example, in the scene where Stone performs the song  "Here's to the ones who dream".

La La Land explores themes of Love and Loss, Sacrifice, and Ambition. After years of getting their hopes dashed over and over again, Sebastian ad Mia have to make the ultimate sacrifice- Love or Ambition. The movie also portrays the pervasiveness of Vanity in Los Angeles. In the scene where Mia and Sebastian are strolling on the streets, Sebastian says, "That's LA. They worship everything and they value nothing!"

La La Land has been nominated for and has won several awards and broken records. The production of the movie has been an outstanding success.



  1. I never knew Chazelle was the director of whiplash
    Good movies., enjoyed everybit.


Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

Movie review: THE DRESSMAKER

by Seun Ajijala Year of release : 2016 Director : Jocelyn Moorhouse Producer : Sue Maslin Screenwriters : Jocelyn Moorhouse and P.J. Hogan Cast : Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving Genre : Comedy, Thriller, Drama Based on the book “The Dressmaker” by Rosalie Ham A young woman comes back home after twenty years, to exact revenge on her townsfolk, and confront the ghosts of her past Rating:  3/5 stars Tilly Dunnage and her mother, Molly have been outcasts in Dungatar, Australia for as long as they could remember. Due to an incident that happened when Tilly was a child, she was sent away. Twenty years later, she comes back, a seasoned dressmaker, having learned couture from the finest Parisian designers. She brings a refreshing style to the outfits of the town women, but she soon realises, that she would never win their affections. She opts for revenge instead. Kate Winslet brings the character of Tilly Dunnag


When I got this book in February, I had no idea it would take me this long to finish. I hadn’t even heard about the book before, as it was published over 10 years ago, when I would have been to young to appreciate it. However, I was book shopping, and two things attracted me to it. First- that it was written by one of my favourite Nigerian authors, Helon Habila; and secondly, that it won the Caine Prize, which is a pretty big deal if you ask me.   Mamo and LaMamo, twins born in Northern Nigeria are raised mostly by their aunt, and partly by their father. Each followed a very different path from the other, having contrasting personalities. While the one is outspoken and radical, the other is more reserved and intuitive. LaMamo goes off to war; Mamo is held back by sickness. The long separation makes the brothers respect and admire each other’s differences.   Each twin finds himself held down by something that proved not to be what it seemed. LaMamo wants to fight, to be a

Movie review: PARASITE

Year : 2019 Director : Bong Joon-Ho Producers : Bong Joon-Ho, Kwak Sin-ae, Yang-Kwon Moon, Jang Yeong-hwan Screenwriter : Bong Joon-Ho, Jin Won Han Cast : Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park Genre : Thriller, Drama, Dark Comedy A small, impoverished family invades the lives of members of another well-to-do family, but soon comes to a shocking revelation that puts their own work of deception to shame Rating: 5/5 Parasite is the first Korean movie to ever win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It has also been nominated for an Academy Award, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2020) and won the SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2020). One of the things I find so great about this movie is the number and sheer quality of plot twists that were part of it. So important were these plot twists, that the director, Bong Joon-Ho, intentionally excluded a great