Does La La Land Deserve Its 7 Golden Globes? (no spoilers)

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La La Land has been described as the must-see film of the year ever since the first trailer came out. As if that hadn´t been predictive enough the film went on to win a record number of 7 Golden Globes! Also it´s a musical romance and writing here is the girl that can´t imagine how her life would´ve gone without High School Musical. So obviously I went to see it on the day it came out here in Germany. But is it really worth the hype and more importantly, all 7 Golden Globes?

Disclaimer: I´m not a film expert nor have I seen all the films it was up against. This is just my personal opinion as a film lover!

Short Summary

La La Land follows the story of Mia, an actress working towards her breakthrough, and Sebastian, a pianist determined to save Jazz music. A lucky coincidence brings the two passionate artists together and it is soon clear that these two were made for each other. But in the brutal world of Hollywood nothing is without conflict.
It's a story about dreams; about following your dreams, getting lost in your dreams, believing in people, steppingstones, helping hands, trust, loosing it all and finding it again.

Best Performance of an Actress/Actor in a Motion Picture for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling

First off, I love Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling anyway (they were both definitely a reason I watched the film). Plus I´ve loved their chemistry ever since I first watched Crazy, Stupid, Love and believe me, they have a lot of it! I really enjoyed how the whole film really just focuses on their characters Mia and Sebastian. We get to know both of them really well while any other characters are just standing on the sidelines a bit. I felt like their characters were definitely realistic in their behaviors, thoughts and personalities which is definitely due to these actors talents as well! I was also genuinely feeling their conflicts and had a lot of empathy for both of them. For the two hours I was fully immersed in their stories and this might be the character for each actor that I´ll struggle to forget whenever I see them.
Verdict: Very much deserved!


Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for Damien Chazelle

Concerning the story: it seemed to go a bit slow at first, just waiting for these characters to finally meet. But at the same time it also felt like it was slowly flowing and realistic. Personally, I haven´t felt that there was the typical arc in the story where there´s a massive conflict in the end; maybe the music and atmosphere lulled me in a bit. However, I really enjoyed that as I feel like it´s closer to real life and gives the movie a bit more charm.
Some points about the story (spoilers ahead, open at your own risk!)

I felt like the story started really strong with a musical number that just made me want to dance and the character´s first coincidental meeting. Then when you see both of them living their day from that point on it felt like it was dragging a bit. For me the story picks up speed when they finally meet at that pool party. From there one I was enchanted and very much captured in the whole story. I can see that after the heart-eyes period there´s slowly more and more conflict in their relationship that has it´s peak when he doesn´t show up to her performance. But for me personally because of the way the movie was cut and the music it felt like such a natural arc that it didn´t feel like this dramatic climax. Additionally, all the usual hollywood drama had been taken out of it a bit for me personally. But as I said before this also makes it feel a bit more realistic. I don´t know about you but I´ve never experienced as much drama as the usual romances have.
I will say that I´m very unsure about the ending. It made me think a lot and I left the cinema in a kind of trance that I couldn´t really step out. That is something I can really appreciate but at the same time I´m a massive fangirl so I don´t necessarily agree with how their story went.
Again, some more points on the ending which contain spoilers!

I know they both lived their dream in the end and are both very happy with their lives, they just didn´t find this kind of happiness with each other. Maybe they were just the stepping stones they had to climb over in order to finally live their dream or maybe they were each others catalysators. I´m just so unsure about this alternative universe storyline. As a fangirl it makes me so happy to see that their dreams would have been possible with each other but at the same time it makes me so melancholic because in this universe they couldn´t get there. Also I shipped them so hard and seeing her with another man makes me kind of sad. However, I can also really appreciate the "sad" ending as it makes it all more realistic. Even days after having seen it I still haven´t decided how I feel about it all.
Concerning the characters: A big part of their characters feeling so real and natural is definitely down to the screenplay as well. I was so glad to say that both had a really great arc on their own as well as together and that both showed a lot of growth throughout the film. The growth and arcs were sparked by themselves and their experiences but sometimes also by each other and their relationship which I found really lovely! I always felt like these two could just be two people taken from the real life, almost like these two could be just sitting right in the cinema with me.
Verdict: Deserved (even though I´m unsure about the ending)

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Best Original Score - Motion Picture for Justin Hurwitz and Best Original Song - Motion Picture for City of Stars

In general the music feels like a very old school musical. I love the heavy piano and the jazz influences as well as the pure jazz! There was such a great variety of songs from the musical cast numbers that made me want to jump out of my seat and dance along to the slower, emotional songs that gave me goosebumps all over. However, I will say that I was missing some smashing musical dance numbers that I can sing along to on a long car journey. One thing I did enjoy though were the same themes being repeated in so many different songs which made them so very coherent and part of a whole that stretched along the whole film.
On a side note, I also really liked the actors singing voices. You can hear that they aren´t trained singers but they still sing way better than I ever could! Again, this made the songs and the storylines within the songs feel more raw and real. I also didn´t know that they could dance so well! The choreographies were strong in this movie and also included a lot of physical comedy. I love how they were dabbled throughout the whole film.
Music is more in this film than in other films. It´s used very differently and much stronger. More often than not there´s music playing and not just in the background. It always has a purpose and it not being there also has a very clear purpose. Often the music transfers a lot of the characters thoughts and feelings. That´s also why they maybe not talk as much as they do in other films. I really loved that!
All in all, the music is great and the song City of Stars is just one of those goosebumps songs that I surely won´t forget! However, I´m not sure if I´d actually call the whole film a musical. I´d rather say it´s a film with a very heavy emphasis on music!
Verdict: Both very much deserved

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Best Director - Motion Picture for Damien Chazelle

I really enjoyed the way this film was shot. The whole scenery in general is so stunning and some scenes are shot so different and interestingly. Also the cut often delivered emotions of the characters that might otherwise have needed a big internal monologue. The film isn´t singularly relying on the actors talents, the music or the dialogue to transport the emotions. The cut alone helps a lot. This might sound weird but I also really like the transitions between scenes. Depending on the emotional state they were soft or a hard black screen and silence. It all worked together perfectly to make me feel like a part of their universe, like I wasn't just watching them from afar.
I think the film really achieved a great balance between seriousness and comedy. The comedy often being very subtle but there were definitely moments where I laughed out loud. Of course there were a few kitschy, unrealistic and dreamy scenes but this is a musical and a romance after all. One thing I really loved is that everything had a purpose in this film. Nothing was just there because it looked nice. It all brought the story along!
Verdict: So very much deserved

Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy)

I will say that as a whole this film isn´t what I was expecting at all. I was going in with the expectation of a fun romance with musical numbers and got something way better and more realistic. This film might not be for everyone but I do feel like many people will enjoy it. For me it´s definitely a film I´d like to throw on on a cozy evening when the rain is pouring outside, fairy light and candles warming my room while I´m cuddled up under a blanket.
As you´ll have probably noticed I´ve mentioned the words "natural" and "realistic" a lot in here and this is where I think the strongest part of this film lies: it´s a realistic story that comes together so naturally and transfers emotions on so many different levels.
Verdict: Unsure (really enjoyed it but wouldn´t go & watch it again in the cinema)

Will you see La La Land in the cinema? If you´ve already seen it, would you give them all of the Golden Globes? And what are your thoughts on the ending?

12 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this post - it was wonderful hearing someone else's opinions on this movie!! I thought La La Land was absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end. I share your sentiment about the ending - though I did like it, it made me slightly uneasy because it isn't quite how these stories are supposed to go. Though it wasn't the fairytale dream I was expecting, I loved the balance between reality and imagination; I think that's how love really feels.

    - katrina // Yours Truly, Katrina

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    1. Thank you so much! I totally agree. My fangirl heart so badly wants the fairytale ending though. I remember hating 500 Days of Summer for the longest time because of the ending, haha. I know though that it´s more realistic and I can totally appreciate that. It´s still an amazing film!
      xx Lisa

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  2. Love how in-depth this review is! I went to see La La Land last week and I enjoyed it - I thought Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were brilliant together and I loved the old school feel of the film. I actually really liked that the ending was more bittersweet than fairytale (even though I wanted them to end up together!) xx

    Toasty

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    1. Thank you so much lovely. These two are brilliant together in every film! I can´t say that I hated the ending it was just not what I was expecting from a musical. But then again that can be so good. I´m just totally split in my opinion about it.
      xx Lisa

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  3. This is a great and honest review! I definitely want to see La La Land at the cinema. I love the actors and I had City of Stars on repeat for about week. It is an amazing song and makes me emotional every time that I listen to it. The story sounds very intriguing and I just think it's a very interesting topic - I know some people who are trying/tried to make it in Hollywood and they said chances are bigger to win the lottery. After watching the movie I'll go back to part of your post that contains spoilers about the ending, I'm now pretty curious about it xx

    113thingstosay.com

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    1. Thank you. The music is really incredible. I get the songs and even just the themes stuck in my head all the time. Yes, when I was doing theatre for a while I got a glance at how hard it can actually be to become a full on artist and I think that´s such a good topic for a film! I´m looking forward to hearing what your opinion is on the ending.
      xx Lisa

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  4. I watched it yesterday, I must say I was sceptical about the movie. We all know the golden globes award movies that aren't up to par. So going into the cinema, I've already prepared myself to hate it. However, I found myself immersed in their story, the composition, and cinematography. Most importantly, I felt like I could relate to their story, being a creative and all. Absolutely loved it! It was superb

    http://bumascloset.wordpress.com

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    1. I think that´s one of the biggest things in this movie: how relatable it is and how real it feels. It´s what drew me into the story and made me love the characters so much!
      xx Lisa

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  5. Lovely review. I haven't seen it yet but really like how detailed this post was, and the structure of it, I feel like you've definitely given me the best information on what to expect :)

    Paris x
    http://lifeinflorals.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you lovely. Hope you love it as much as I did!
      xx Lisa

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  6. My gosh I love La La Land! For me when I first watched I wasn't super impressed but the more I left it to mull over the more completely obsessed I am with it. I listen to the soundtrack every.single.day now and wish it came out before my wedding because Mia and Sebastian's theme song is so beautiful I could have imagined walking down the aisle to it.

    I think the story really is a slow burner but it genuinely has me hooked so bad!

    Tarnya xxx
    www.sweetallure.co.uk

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    1. I had the exact same feeling. Watching it the first time was like wow but as in wow this is gorgeous and wow I expected this to be totally different. The more time went by the more I fell in love with it & watching it for the second time two days ago was just amazing. It´s just such a work of art!
      xx Lisa

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