I have a yellow dress, I have two-tone shoes. It didn’t take much to make me want to talk about a film whose ending deeply moved me, I name “La La Land”.
“La La Land”, directed by Damien Chazelle in 2015, pays a powerful tribute to the musicals of the golden age of Hollywood.
As a matter of fact, the film perfectly ticks the boxes of the musical of the 30s, 40s and 50s: a love story, dance numbers that illustrate the chemistry between the protagonists and the musical parts which depict their emotional state.
Mia (played by Emma Stone) aspires to become an actress in Hollywood where she survives for the moment as a barista. She meets Sebastian (played by Ryan Gosling), a pianist who dreams of opening a jazz club for purists. After a bumpy start, Mia and Sebastian fall in love and support each other in the pursuit of their respective dreams. Will they succeed? Will their love story withstand the abrasive side of life?
This is the third collaboration between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and their complicity shows. Their dance numbers are great, especially when you know that they were absolutely novices before the start of filming – my inner tap dancer applaudes because my inner tap dancer knows too well the difficulty of the exercise.
However, where “La La Land” diverges from the musicals to which it pays such a strong homage resides in its final minutes, because there is no happy ending. The end of the movie, both unexpected and subtle, gives a bittersweet tone to everything that preceded and, well, it’s very moving.
There is also probably a lot of Damien Chazelle in the film, since he conceived “La La Land” way before directing it, because of a crucial lack of funding. The success of “Whiplash” in 2014 (which is brilliant) finally attracted the attention of the studios.
The title of the film refers to Hollywood, its celluloid illusions and a deep detachment from reality. In fact, the numerous references of “La La Land” to the unreal worlds of Jacques Demy (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”, “The Young Girls of Rochefort”) are obvious, as are the references to those of Fred Astaire (“Top Hat ”, “Funny Face”) and Gene Kelly (“Singin’ in the Rain”, “An American in Paris” for the painted settings).
The musical parts by Justin Hurwitz – Damien Chazelle’s best friend and roommate at Harvard University – match the spirit of the golden age musicals and perfectly renders the enthusiasm or the disenchantment of the protagonists.
Because it must be said, “La La Land” may be a cute love story but it’s more about the journey through life. The end of the film leaves us with ultimately quite philosophical questions, regarding the part of dream, the part of abandonment and the meaning of the word “ambition”.
June 10, 2022
Oscar de la Renta dress – YSL heels – Miu Miu sunglasses