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La La Land


BitterToad
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I really don't understand why people hate musicals so much. The arguments Ryan Gosling makes in the film in response about how so many people say they don't like Jazz can be applied in exactly the same way to musicals. They are perhaps the purest expressions of joy and passion as you can get. The whole gamut of emotion expressed through music, dance, and song. Singing in the Rain is something I used to snort about, as the very idea of watching a musical filled me with disgust. Until I watched it, and I mean I really watched it and paid attention, as it blew me away, as I got caught up in it for the first time. And it's now one of my favourite ever films.

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I love a good musical. Although to my shame I've never seen Singing In The Rain as I'm not overly keen on the old MGM style musicals, though enough people say it's great that I really should check it out. 

 

Amongst my favourite movie musicals would be.... 

West Side Story, Cabaret, Dancer In The Dark, Rocky Horror Show, God Help The Girl, Evita, Tommy, Little Shop Of Horrors and Fildler On The Roof. To name a few.

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

I really don't understand why people hate musicals so much. The arguments Ryan Gosling makes in the film in response about how so many people say they don't like Jazz can be applied in exactly the same way to musicals. They are perhaps the purest expressions of joy and passion as you can get. The whole gamut of emotion expressed through music, dance, and song. Singing in the Rain is something I used to snort about, as the very idea of watching a musical filled me with disgust. Until I watched it, and I mean I really watched it and paid attention, as it blew me away, as I got caught up in it for the first time. And it's now one of my favourite ever films.

Musicals are genuine treasures of human experience. 

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I've seen a fair amount of musicals, mostly in my younger years as my sister is a fan. I'm not adverse to them, my favourites are Rocky Horror and Grease. I thought this was very average apart from the cinematography in a couple of the key scenes. The songs are thankfully minimal as they are forgettable other than City of Stars. Whiplash was my favourite film of 2014, so this was a pretty major step down for Damien Chazelle imo.

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My partner and I went watching this last night. We both loved it. It was funnier than I expected, but the humour reminded me a little too much of Joss Whedon's style which made me think the whole film was set in the same timeframe as the Buffy musical. So I've put the fact everyone was singing and dancing down to an evil demon forcing them to do it.

 

Loved the last 15 minutes. Fantastic stuff.

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Suspension of disbelief is key. It actually sometimes takes an acquired ability for some people to do it well, and it's a shame many people then struggle with it as it's so fundamental to the language of lots of incredible art. Musicals are just another way of telling a story where that language has it's own specific conventions.

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This was pretty enjoyable, but I'm amazed it's getting the level of praise that it is. It felt about half an hour longer than it should have done - the last twenty minutes was absolutely spellbinding and beautifully done, but the preceding section dragged quite a bit for me. I thought this article, talking about how Ryan Gosling's character is an annoying jazz snob, was a bit unfair in places but quite funny nonetheless:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/21/ryan-gosling-la-la-land-every-bad-date-you-had

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10 minutes ago, Silent Runner said:

Me and Hadley on the same page there.

 

Take On Me! One of the greatest songs ever written! I’d love to hear more about your artistic soul, Sebastian, but I’m too busy dancing to music that people with ears actually like.

 

Sounds very much like the mad ravings of an A-ha snob, the kind whose response to a man saying he “hates A-ha” is to tell him he’s wrong and take him on a tour of her critical pieces that tell us whether art is good or bad.

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Oh yeah, and she tried to write an utterly insipid article about how famous primate murderer and bloodlust fantasist A.A Gill definitely would have wanted her to tell him how much she admired him, and was obviously not at all an ego massaging exercise in narcissism.

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Maaaaaaaan, this has been swimming around my head for nearly a week now. I loved Whiplash, and much like that I was absolutely spellbound by the finale. It's a dazzling sequence that elicited so many emotions from me, I was breathless by the end.

 

On reflection, some parts don't quite work for me. I was all for a big proper musical after the opening number but it slowly begins to wind down as it progresses, though I suppose it just makes that finale hit even harder. Though I'd say it felt uneven in that sense, while watching it didn't bother me. It felt a lot like how a real relationship develops and is viewed on reflection; those early days when everything is new, exciting and there's so much optimism followed by the predictable yet comfortable routine of being settled into a committed partnership, then the big spectacular review of it all at the end.

 

I would have liked a few more songs and the dancing was lacking, but I think they made the most out of what they had. Stone and Gosling (by the way, I thought it was weird that Gosling got top billing when Stone was the emotional core for me) are actors first, not singers and dancers, and while I do commend them for the practice they put in (Gosling was apparently playing piano for real, fair play) they were never going to achieve the kind of results you see in the classic Hollywood musicals. I was saying to a friend afterwards that you would never see a camera so mobile in a classic musical, and that the performer's entire body would be in shot at all times to highlight their skills, so I think it was a wise choice in this film to adopt a more active camera to mask those shortcomings. For anyone that's seen Hail Caesar, Channing Tatum is a damn fine dancer but he can't match the kind of speed and precision you'd see from a Gene Kelly or Donald O'Connor, people that basically grew up dancing.

 

It all comes together beautifully. It being set in the modern era and telling a modern version of all those classic musical stories of boy meets girl meant that the comparative lack of song and dance numbers didn't properly bother me, and instead I was totally swept along for the ride. And I'll continue to repeat it; that final number was a thing of beauty, and I'll recommend this film to everyone purely for it.

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I think the slightly rough edges of the dancing and singing worked in the film's favour - it's not meant to be a classic musical that takes place in a heavily stylised fantasy world where everyone lives happily ever after, it's a musical that takes place in the real world where people are complicated and flawed. That all worked great, I just thought it was a bit long.

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I thought the singing was fine, Stone and Gosling aren't eight-octave belters or anything but they do a perfectly good job with the songs they have. I never felt like it was holding back the film. The dancing kinda did though. The "Lovely Night" scene just didn't pop off the way it could've.

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I agree that Emma Stone was the emotional core, but that's Hollywood for ya. Of course Gosling is gonna get top billing. :rolleyes: (which is not to say that I don't like him)

 

I struggled a lot not to cry towards the end, but I won the fight :D it was painful though, for sure. Still, an absolutely wonderful movie, I didn't notice time pass and it was lovely just disappearing into that world for a while, with all the shit that is going on here in reality. It was cheesy, but the right kind of cheesy, as you'd expect from a musical. The singing and dancing as some said wasn't perfect or anything, but I think that's the charm of these two actors anyway. Lovely casting. Gonna have the soundtrack on repeat for a while now. Wasn't able to listen to any of my music on the way home, just kept humming the theme to myself (yes, I was that crazy lady on the tram).

 

It's high time I watch Whiplash, it's always been on my list but now I want to see it even more. 

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3 hours ago, Always Crazy Bacon said:

 

They would be fine if they were presented as long form music videos and brought up to date. However they don't, they just clone the "golden age of Hollywood". The old people clap like seals, the fans agree it's amazing in an echo chamber of approval and nothing is updated or evolved to get new younger movie goers interested.

 

Do you understand now?

 

Great old musicals from the golden age of Hollywood are just as good now as they were then. Being old, or using old styles of filmmaking doesn't make something worse, just different. Great art or filmmaking doesn't age like your mobile phone does. It doesn't need to be "brought up to date". It just requires the right interpretation of its own form of language from the audience.

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6 hours ago, Always Crazy Bacon said:

 

They would be fine if they were presented as long form music videos and brought up to date. However they don't, they just clone the "golden age of Hollywood". The old people clap like seals, the fans agree it's amazing in an echo chamber of approval and nothing is updated or evolved to get new younger movie goers interested.

 

Do you understand now?

 

May I point you towards Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:

 

 

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Saw this tonight. Even though I'm not really a fan of musicals and all the hype was kinda putting me off I thought I had watch it and give it a go. I loved it. 

 

I think the opening song and dance kind of lead you into a false sense of security that it's all going to be all sunshine and lolipops and you're going to have this warm glow inside you throughout. But its not like that at all. Of course there are those feel good moments but it's not to the point where it's too much. It's the right amount and mixed in with the rest of the story and songs it's perfect.

 

It does seem to forget it's a musical for the middle section of the film but that doesnt really matter because as stated above, it just works.

 

I loved the dance in the stars sequence and the accompanying music. It was a great throw back and homage. Like @Monkeyboysaid, the last 15 minutes are fantastic.

 

I've watch Whiplash (for the first time) and this over the last month. Damien Chazelle is really sometimes special.

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