Film Reviews
How we all need a little ‘La La Land’ in our lives
If anything can banish the January blues a trip to La La Land will do the job nicely. This fantatsic new film – which cleared up at the Golden Globes last weekend – opened in Bridgnorth Majestic Cinema last night and Love Bridgnorth’s film reviewer Charlie Pugh was there with us and we all came out with a spring in our step and smiles on our faces. The ultimate feel-good film – but not without the odd dose of poignancy – and a soundtrack that we will all get to know and love over the years.

Rated: 12A , it’s showing at weekdays: 5:20pm and 8:20pm and weekends: 2:30pm, 5:25pm and 8:20pm.

Here’s what Charlie has to say:

Life isn’t easy in modern day Los Angles for Jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) as they struggle to maintain a relationship, while pursing their dreams for success. But difficult decisions lie ahead for their future.

After giving us one of the best stories about the music industry two years ago with the astonishing Whiplash, it’s only fitting that Damien Chazelle’s next film is a full blown musical, shot in the style of the MGM musicals of the 40′ and 50s such as Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris. What sets this magnificently filmed film apart from its rival in this year’s numerous award seasons, is the beautiful use of it’s cinematography and lighting that fully embraces the genre’s stage roots; with some scenes entirely blacking out apart from the focused character to give the illusion of a theatre spotlight shining down on them, while other scenes change their visual style completely to give the film the feel of an art gallery.

There are several sequences involving Mia and Sebastian dancing in the stars, a sequence in which the presentation constantly changes from Gene Kelly style tap dancing, Chinese shadow puppetry, stop-motion and 1950’s style use of logos and lighting, all giving the locations the feeling of a painting.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have excellent chemistry and the musical sequences are really well staged, especially the opening number, “Another Day of Sun” – but I must just warn people expecting the next Les Miz or Dreamgirls, that at the halfway point the musical sequences stop and we get a heavy dose of seriousness. That said it’s powerfully uplifting as it’s been a long time since we have a had an excellent live action musical that isn’t an adaptation of an already existing stage show or a jukebox musical like Mamma Mia.  We all loved it!

Overall, despite the lack of the required number of songs for this to be considered a true musical, La La Land is excellent escapist entertainment, if you want something different from the usual Oscar- fare this year and a sure fire endorphin boost to beat those January blues.

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