Damien Chazelle, the young director, the oscar nominee for Best Screenplay for “Whiplash” in 2014, has outdone himself with the endearing musical “La La Land”, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. These two actors have worked together before and the chemistry is palpable. The Musical Genre has a new champion in this story of an erstwhile jazz pianist Sebastian (Gosling) and a struggling actress (Stone) as star crossed lovers fighting between career choices and love. Chazelle kicks things off with a huge “how did they do that?” ensemble song and dance extravaganza (Another Day of Sun), commandeering an entire I-405 on ramp with style and precision. Our two leads meet not so cute until they finally connect and take us on a charming trip of joy and heartbreak. The photography is wonderful, capturing the magical side of LA (The Griffith Observatory steals a few scenes), and I dare you to not leave the theater without whistling “City of Stars”, the lovely tune that accompanies Sebastian and Mia’s first real connection. This is one of my favorite films of the year, sure Oscar bait, and I hope to see it again soon.
My GPS: 4.0