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« Norway's Oscar Search Narrows | Main | Links: Movies (and TV) Matter, Garrel Picks Pics, Oscar's Centennial »
Wednesday
Aug312016

La La Land Razzle Dazzles Venice

Classic musicals from Singing in the Rain to An American in Paris to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg are being invoked to praise La La Land. There are comparisons to golden age stars like Shirley MacLaine, Grace Kelly and Gene Kelly. The Damien Chazelle film, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has critics at Venice falling in love and believing in the magic of cinema again. La La Land just topped our most anticipated fall film list and it looks like the excited anticipation was proven correct just a day later.

Here is an assortment of what is being said...

“La La Land” is a film you simply never want to stop watching. It has wisdom and joy and sadness and such magic, from the evocative power of music to the transportive power of movies. It is a heartfelt lament for the fact that the place where those things meet — the movie musical — all but disappeared from our screens, and a passionately argued, utterly convincing manifesto for its return. The Playlist.

Chazelle creates musical numbers for the pair of them, and Gosling and Stone carry these off with delicacy and charm, despite or because of the fact that they are not real singers. []Stone is beautifully cast and something in the hesitancy and even frailty of her singing voice is just right. They are both very accomplished dancers within a shrewdly limited range. The Guardian

Fans of musicals will adore this sparkling cinematic love letter. The Wrap

 

 

La La Land wants to remind us how beautiful the half-forgotten dreams of the old days can be – the ones made up of nothing more than faces, music, romance and movement. It has its head in the stars, and for a little over two wonderstruck hours, it lifts you up there too. The Telegraph.

The American trades are more measured with THR saying:

..while aiming for poignance, the film loses some of its edge in this final stretch and arguably overstays its welcome. 

Variety is equally guarded:

La La Land isn’t a masterpiece (and on some level it wants to be). Yet it’s an exciting ramble of a movie, ardent and full of feeling, passionate but also exquisitely — at times overly — controlled. 

No matter though, everyone is in love with the leads, particularly Stone. She's being called "simply a joy" and "never have been better". And for all of you best actress enthusiasts, i.e. all of us, how about this hyperbole from Variety:

Stone, a supporting nominee for “Birdman,” is so casually brilliant I almost want to say at this grotesquely early date she’s the one to beat for best actress. Certainly of the films that have been seen this year, she blows the competition away.

Do you think Stone is now a sure fire best actress contender?

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Reader Comments (19)

So Stone is a legitimate Best Actress nominee,that Comedy GG must be hers,3 past nominations help,the right age etc.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

"Do you think Stone is now a sure-fire best actress contender?"

Well, she'll be 28 in November...

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

It's the "casually brilliant" comment that I love in that Variety blurb. I feel like she's always praised more when she goes big or broad, but not nearly as much for her natural charisma.

August 31, 2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

SO EXCITED FOR THIS.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I thought she went way too big in Biedman and consider her nom a definitive coatail nom.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Other than Streep (maybe Bening in 20th Century Woman if it's a comedy?), she could easily get the GG win. As for Oscar, I think there are too many heavyweight dramatic performances to come. Could prime her for Billie Jean King though!

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I'm really excited for La La Land and I normally can't stand Emma Stone, so yeah, she's probably a shoo-in.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

She's at least number 1 of those who've been seen but when she's up against Viola Davis it's Viola's to win

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

I had no doubt in Stone as an Oscar contender, and it looks like a sure thing to happen.
Plus we might get her performing Audition on Oscar night.

Had high hopes for this movie, but after reading some of the reviews it has become my most anticipated movie in a long while, in years maybe.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Stone's a definite nominee now and has the GG comedy win in the bag, though I still think Viola's winning the Oscar, since I still think she has the best role/narrative combo needed to win.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Cannot wait to see this movie... the opening scene sounds as if it might be a page from West Side Story... which for me is the very best musical from the 50's mar 60's and I have seen them all ( thanks to my mother!!! )

I hope people flock to it , so maybe there will be a dearth of musicals to follow!!??

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I hope this lives up to that breathtaking trailer

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

In terms of Golden Globes, she'll probably take Comedy/Musical, and Viola will finally win her first in the drama category.

But as for the Oscars, I think Emma will graciously cheer her Help co-star on as she walks to the podium.

Of course it's still early that ANYTHING could happen, but I'm praaaaaying for Viola.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Or, they could push Viola Davis as supporting (recalling that Mary Alice, who won the Tony in 197 for the role, was featured).

Though I'm more confused on how the internet decided that Viola Davis would win.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I read the play of FENCES this week and Viola's character has two very meaty monologues, one of which comes near the end and arguably encapsulates the play. It's a great part and I would be very disappointed if they campaigned it in supporting.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Still feels like American Idol tryouts to me.

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Cleo

How I see it right now:
Negga / Davis / Stone / Streep / Adams

Bening could upset one of them.

This is apparently quite a year for actresses with five-letter last names! (See also: Weisz in supporting, Field, and Blunt)

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Marion Cotillard, Alicia Vikander, Michelle Williams...

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

This is an awesome post. Just one of the very best post I've ever seen. What a really good and awesome post. Keep up your work on articles!

June 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

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