La La Land’s backlash arrived a little later than expected this awards season, but that didn’t stop the jazzy bittersweet musical from claiming a top prize at the 2017 Golden Globe awards. In one of the least surprising moments of the evening, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash follow-up received the award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Next stop: The Oscars, most likely.
Most of the attention in the Oscar race so far has been focused on Moonlight, and with good reason; it is an amazing film. But don’t count out La La Land just yet; the movie is a feel-good crowd-pleaser, and these awards are, after all, popularity contests. Tonight Damien Chazelle, director of La La Land took home the Golden Globe for Best Director, making this year’s Oscar race that much more interesting.
After taking some time off to make his directorial debut and tend to his growing family, Ryan Gosling is back and busier than ever with recent roles in The Nice Guys and awards season favorite La La Land. While that film is currently in theaters (and picking up a few awards nominations), Gosling is already plotting a reunion with director Damien Chazelle for his next project, a Neil Armstrong biopic that will take the actor from the “City of Stars” to the actual stars — in outer space.
The musical never completely died as a movie genre, but it did lay dormant for a good long while throughout the 1980s and ’90s, with only the occasional throwback like Pennies From Heaven, Newsies, or Everyone Says I Love You popping up, like an old memory. Back then, the movie business largely conceded its tradition of song-and-dance to Disney cartoons and MTV, assuming — wrongly — that the idea of flesh-and-blood actors breaking into big numbers in the middle of narrative feature films had become too cornball for the modern mass audience.
Music is everything to La La Land, not just its main mode of communication but its reason for being — all of director Damien Chazelle’s films have centered on the power of music to varying extents. For his most ambitious passion project yet, Chazelle figured he’d need a composer who was up to the task of capturing the swooning romance and the lingering melancholy of the film, and he found one in Justin Hurwitz. And now you can listen to the beautiful La La Land score a whole week before the film hits theaters.
Is there a more stressful month for film fans than December? Not only are most of us trying to stay on top of our normal holiday stress — picking up gifts for our family and friends and dreading time spent in airports and train stations — we are also trying to fit in as many movies as possible before the end of the year. Whether you write about film, participate in an office Academy Award pool, or just like watching good movies, there’s nothing like cramming movies into every spare second of an already packed mo
Pretty much since the first moment I saw the first teaser for La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s amazing new musical hitting theaters next month, I’ve been waiting for the soundtrack. Sometimes I’ve put on one of the film’s trailers to hear the music again. Other times I’ve caught myself humming some of the tunes while walking down the street, particularly the earworm “City of Stars,” sung by Ryan Gosling’s character. Via Variety, I now know when my suffering will end with the release date of the La La Land soundtrack (December 9) and, in the meantime, I can now listen to a duet version of “City of Stars” by Gosling and co-star Emma Stone, which is available on YouTube (and embedded above).
I guess there’s not much reason for me to watch the new La La Land trailer. I saw the movie back at the Toronto Film Festival. Why watch the coming attractions for a movie I’ve already seen? Frankly, I watched it (twice) because I want to see La La Land again, and I can’t right now, and watching the trailer is the next best option.
It would be inaccurate to say there’s never been a film like La La Land — there have been movies like it many times before — but it’s been a while. Movie musicals these days are mostly lifeless exercises in prestige and Broadway adaptation, The original movie musical — with songs writing explicitly for the screen — is about as rare a species as the South China tiger.
Do you like music? How about romance? What about both of those amidst gorgeous sceneries? Then ‘La La Land’ will probably be your most anticipated movie of the year. If not, just watch the new teaser trailer for an express ticket to swoon city.