Gordon and I watched La La Land last night. It’s a fanciful, bittersweet fable about chasing the Hollywood dream. Sometimes dreams do come true; just not all of them maybe. It’s a love story: love for an artistic vision, love for Los Angeles, and love for another person. I was impressed. I haven’t seen a original movie musical in years and this was a good one. Ryan Gosling looks like he’s actually playing the piano. If so, he’s really good. Also had no idea he could dance. He reminded my of Gene Kelly–better singer than dancer but I don’t think he really used his voice. I think he kept it small so he didn’t sound silly when he broke into song. I thought Emma Stone had a sweet little voice, not pitchy at all, but not very strong. But when she gets her big number she lets it out; she can sing. She can dance too although I’ve always found her to be such a charming personality it wouldn’t have mattered much if she couldn’t. So much talent these days. And, of course, the chemistry between Stone and Gosling is compelling.
I loved all the Los Angeles scenes. The movie started with a huge production number on the 105E carpool offramp to the 110N freeway. I remember being trapped by the stopped-up traffic; now I know what caused the jam. Also got a kick out of the scene on Angel’s Flight even though I read that the producer got into a lot of trouble for filming there without a permit. I wish the city would open it up again.
So if you want a travelogue of the City of Angels and you enjoy movie musicals, I recommend this one.