Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
La La Land
Finally, LA LA LAND. See the hit movie, sure, but don't think it's the best musical ever just because you've never seen a musical.
The Oracle, my friend Martin says:
Believe the hype! Damien Chazelle's gorgeous, bitter-sweet new musical LA LA LAND filters both Demy and Minnelli through Chazelle's own post-modern vision of a 21st century LA that's steeped in a mythical musical past. This is a movie the way I sometimes remember movies used to be; big, bold, innovative and totally unafraid to take chances. It begins with a genuinely entrancing homage to the kind of fifties song-and-dance films that Gene Kelly might have dreamed up before launching into a boy-meets-girl love affair that isn't afraid to threaten to turn sour a la NEW YORK NEW YORK, (another musical it pays homage to with its jazz inflected score), but never really does.
This is a truly uplifting experience. unashamedly romantic and blessed with a couple of sublime performances from Ryan Gosling and especially Emma Stone who together make falling in love seem like the most natural thing in the world. LA LA LAND recently picked up seven Golden Globes and is virtually guaranteed to sweep the boards at next month's Oscars. Who says they don't make 'em like this anymore.
I agree with most of that, but I do not regard it a a muscial as such - apart from the astonishing opening scene on the freeway, and some nice moments with the two leads dancing. Anyone who knows Jacques Demy's UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG or, especially, LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT from 1967 with its candy colours and the whole cast dancing - and yes, an older Gene Kelly is there too - will find much to enjoy here. It is certainly the film of the season, let's see how the rest of the awards pile up ...