Nominated for a staggering 14 Oscars La La Land is the film on everyone’s lips right now. Words like “Incredible!” “Glorious!” and “Magnificent!” have been bounded about by critics who got to glimpse this supposed masterpiece before it hit theaters worldwide this month.
But once La La Land reached the masses, moviegoers the world over didn’t quite share the same enthusiasm; with many claiming that while the film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is a pleasant enough movie, there just seems to be something missing, and I too would agree.
Catchy musical numbers that will no doubt get your toes tapping, sit along side dream like sequences that make for beautiful craftsmanship which is truly second to none. Yet despite La La Land’s nostalgic loveliness, for me the storyline doesn’t quite match up. I’d even go so far as to say that it lags its way through the midsection, failing to reach the crescendo we would expect from such a highly anticipated and esteemed piece of cinema.
It’s not unusual for films which are popular amongst critics, to miss amongst audiences, sometimes lost on the general public who expect more than acting skill and clever camera work. However, for someone like me, who couldn’t wait for the release, the disappointment was palpable. It’s not that it’s a bad film, it’s just that it’s not an outstanding film either. It doesn’t fill you up and leave you wanting more the way great movies, especially musicals should. The story is weak in parts, even arduous and tenuously frustrating in all the wrong ways, yet in spite of its flaws, La La Land does have its moments. It’s unexpected ending offers a nice twist to what could have been the cutesy Hollywood romance of 2017 and its colour palette is wistful enough that it is worth the price of admission. But if you are hoping for something uplifting, ground breaking and deserving of so many accolades then I’m afraid you might just be out of luck.
If you haven’t seen it yet then I suggest you do; not because its brilliant and not even because the critics say you must, but simply so you can make up your own mind…and maybe even help me shed some light on why La La Land didn’t quite have me, a musical enthusiast, jumping for joy.