Tag Archives: Damien Chazelle

DGA Announces Nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

January 12, 2017

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay today announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2016.

Nominees for First-Time Feature Film Director Category Also Announced

 

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Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay (Photo via MadameNoir)

“These phenomenal filmmakers have captured our hearts and minds, breathing life into stories rarely told and revealing worlds rarely seen,” said Barclay. “What makes this recognition truly special is the knowledge that these five directors have made a lasting impression on their peers – directors and members of the director’s team who intimately understand the blood, sweat and tears necessary to create a feature film.”

 

The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):

Damien Chazelle La La Land (Lionsgate)

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Mr. Chazelle’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Michael Beugg
  • First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
  • Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
  • Assistant Unit Production Manager: Bart Lipton
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Brett Robinson
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Dodi Rubenstein

*This is Mr. Chazelle’s first DGA Award nomination.

 

Garth Davis Lion (The Weinstein Company)

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Mr. Davis’s Directorial Team:

  • First Assistant Director: Chris Webb
  • First Assistant Director: Ananya Rane (India Unit)
  • Second Assistant Directors: Mark Ingram (Australia Unit), Sunny Tiku (India Unit), KP Singh (India Unit), Shaunak Kapur (India Unit)

*This is one of two DGA Award nominations this year for Mr. Davis. He is also nominated in the First-Time Feature Film category for Lion. He was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials in 2009 for “Shadow Puppets,” U.S. Cellular.

 

Barry Jenkins Moonlight (A24)

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Mr. Jenkins’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Jennifer Radzikowski

*This is Mr. Jenkins’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

 

Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)

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Mr. Lonergan’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Declan Baldwin
  • First Assistant Director: Michael J. Moore
  • Second Assistant Director: David Blazina
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Tim LaDue, Scooter Perrotta

*This is Mr. Lonergan’s first DGA Award nomination.

Denis Villeneuve Arrival (Paramount Pictures)

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Mr. Villeneuve’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Stan Wlodkowski
  • First Assistant Director: Donald L. Sparks
  • Second Assistant Director: Brigitte Goulet
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Karine P. Labelle

*This is Mr. Villeneuve’s first DGA Award nomination.

First-Time Feature Director Award

In addition, Mr. Barclay announced the five nominees for a new category, which debuted last year, recognizing the achievement of first-time feature film directors. First announced by Steven Spielberg at the 2015 DGA Awards, the Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director was created to showcase up-and-coming feature film talent.

paris-barclay“They say that ‘the only thing that stays the same is change,’ and that’s especially true when it comes to the art of filmmaking when driven by fresh viewpoints and new methods,” said Barclay. “The future of film is dependent on newly blazed trails and creative leaps of faith which is what we’re honoring with our first-time feature film director award. Congratulations to these five emerging filmmakers who have created projects that are as bold as they are innovative.”

The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):

Garth Davis Lion (The Weinstein Company)

Kelly Fremon Craig The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment)

Tim Miller Deadpool (Twentieth Century Fox)

Nate Parker Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Dan Trachtenberg 10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount Pictures)

*Eligible directors for this award must have released his or her first feature-length film theatrically in Los Angeles or New York in 2016. Foreign films are eligible and the director does not need to be a DGA member.

The nominees in categories honoring outstanding directorial achievement in television, commercials and documentary for 2016 were announced on January 11, 2017. Click here to see that post.

The winners in all categories will be announced at the 69th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

BMW is the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of the 69th Annual DGA Awards.

(Source: dga.org)

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China Clears Golden Globe Winner ‘La La Land’ for Release

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Fergus Ryan

Although the details are still being worked out, the film, which won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes on Sunday, has been cleared to open in the world’s second-largest movie market this year.

Fresh off its Golden Globes success, Damien Chazelle’s modern musical La La Land got some more good news with the announcement the film will get a release in China.

The Lionsgate film has been approved for distribution in China and will screen in the China Giant Screen format and possibly IMAX 2D, although a specific date is yet to be announced, according to local reports.

China Film Group, the state-backed film company, will be distributing the film, while Shanghai-based Baian Film and Joy Pictures will handle marketing.

Chinese-language posters and trailers were released on Tuesday featuring the film’s Chinese name, or Aiyue Zhicheng, which roughly translates as ‘Music-Loving City.”

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Local reports indicate that Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling will travel to China to promote the local release of the film at the end of January. Emma Stone may be absent due to scheduling conflicts.

The feel-good film won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes on Sunday night for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical), Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) for Ryan Gosling, Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) for Emma Stone, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Score for Justin Hurwitz, and Best Original Song for “City of Stars.”

Taiwan pop star Jay Chou’s movie The Rooftop holds the box office record for a musical in China, earning RMB 120 million (US$17.3 million) in 2013. Universal’s 2012 big screen musical Les Misérables pulled in RMB 64.3 million ($9.3 million).

No doubt the film’s local distributors will be hoping to ape the success of last year’s The Revenant, which was able to piggy-back buzz from the Oscars to pull in RMB 377 million ($54.4 million) in China.

La La Land will mark the first time Ryan Gosling has featured on the big screen in China, while co-star Emma Stone has appeared four times previously, including Birdman in 2015, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in 2014, the animated feature The Croods, in 2013, and The Amazing Spider-Man, in 2012.

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(Source: chinafilminsider.com)

2017 Writers Guild Awards Screenplay Nominations Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year’s Writers Guild Screenplay Awards Nominations were announced today, Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, under strict eligibility parameters as follows:

“Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2016 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Writers Guild of Ireland, Writers’ Guild of South Africa, New Zealand Writers Guild, Film Writers’ Association (India), La Guilde Francaise des Scénaristes (France), Scriptwriters Guild of Israel, Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma (Québec), or Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD/Germany), collectively known as affiliate Guilds. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for Writers Guild Awards consideration. Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2016. Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild to be eligible for awards consideration.”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water, Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films

La La Land, Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate

Loving, Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features

Manchester by the Sea, Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions

Moonlight, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures

Deadpool, Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Fences, Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures

Hidden Figures, Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Nocturnal Animals, Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios

Command and Control, Telescript by Robert Kenner & Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films

Zero Days, Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 19, 2017, in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom. For more information about the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, please visit http://www.wga.org or http://www.wgaeast.org.

St. Louis Film Critics Association announces awards

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Calvin Wilson, St Louis Post Dispatch

“La La Land” has been voted best film of 2016 by the St. Louis Film Critics Association.

A musical set in Los Angeles, the film was directed by Damien Chazelle, who took top honors in that category..

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Actor Casey Affleck in a scene from Manchester by the Sea. (Photo ccourtesy of Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios)

The group chose Casey Affleck as best actor for “Manchester by the Sea,” and Isabelle Huppert as best actress for “Elle,” a French drama which was voted best foreign film.

Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor for “Moonlight,” and Viola Davis took supporting-actress honors for “Fences.”

SLFCA members work for print, broadcast and online outlets.

For a complete list of this year’s winners and nominees: stlfilmcritics.org.

(Source: http://www.stltoday.com)

Q&A: Gosling and Stone on ‘La La Land’ & their movie romance

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW YORK (AP) — Bogart and Bacall. Tracy and Hepburn. Stone and Gosling.

The hugely charming Los Angeles musical “La La Land” seals it: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have entered the ranks of great cinematic couples. Their easy rapport together was first hinted at with “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and carried through the crime drama “Gangster Squad.”

Those, though, were only appetizers to Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” in which they star as two flailing aspirants trying to make it in LA. Stone plays an actress, Gosling a jazz pianist. They sing. They dance. They patter like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

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Ryan Gosling, right and Emma Stone dancing in a scene from their upcoming movie, La La Land. (Photo Credit: Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, “La La Land.” (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

“La La Land,” a resurrection of joyful 1930s studio musicals on contemporary LA streets, is an impassioned argument for the movies, in all their widescreen glory. And part of that vintage Hollywood experience includes big ol’ movie stars.

In an era that has struggled to produce them, Stone and Gosling stand apart as two of our best answers. In “La La Land,” they’re our version of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, maybe not quite as light on their feet (who is?), but more natural and funnier.

How far will they push their on-screen chemistry? “Do you think people would let us do anything together again?” Stone asked her co-star during an interview earlier this fall. “I don’t think we’d be allowed.”

After greeting warmly (Gosling had been shooting “Blade Runner 2049”), the actors sat down to reflect on why they go so well together, their own tortured paths to Hollywood success and just how deep their movie love runs.

AP: Did either of you hesitate about working together again?

STONE: That was an exciting aspect that it was our third thing together. The characters also have by the end five years between them and I think we’d probably known each other that long by that point. It’s kind of nice to not have to find that when the story depends so much on the connection between the two of them.

GOSLING: It’s also nice when you know the people you’re working with. Most of the time, everyone’s a stranger. It’s fine. That’s your job to make it seem like you have a relationship. But it certainly makes it a lot easier when you have one. And you listen to the way that person says their line more closely. You watch the way they’re playing the scene because you know each other. You’re more engaged in the scene than you would be otherwise.

AP: Did you feel a connection right away on your first film together, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”?

GOSLING: We’ve been asked to improvise a lot in the films that we’ve done together. I think even in our first audition we were asked to improvise. That just kind of connects actors in a way that just saying dialogue doesn’t do.

AP: Emma, you started in improv comedy.

STONE: That was the thing I loved to do the most. I thought I was just going to do comedy forever. I’ve always really loved to improvise but maybe strangely less so as time goes on. (She laughs.) Sometimes it’s nice to have a script nailed down. But comedy improv is pretty different from dramatic improv. Comedy improv is a lot of heckling.

AP: You both seem to a certain degree like comedic actors at heart.

STONE: It’s the best. It’s my favorite. Not to the exclusion of other types of films, but I do love comedy. That will always be my first love. (Turns to Gosling.) What do you think?

GOSLING: Well I don’t have as much experience with it…

STONE: But you’re so good at it.

GOSLING: What’s nice about it is you want to feel that whatever you’re doing is working. With comedy, it’s funny or it’s not.

AP: The film portrays some soul-crushing auditions. Were they familiar?

STONE: The first audition was inspired by Ryan’s story.

GOSLING: Yeah, where I had to cry and this lady took a call in the middle of it. And then just told me to go on, “Pick up where I left off.” That was part of what was great about making this film was Damien encouraged us to bring our experiences to these characters.

AP: Were they traumatic experiences?

GOSLING: Yeah, but it was so nice to see it realized in a movie and see Emma doing it. We made some lemonade out of lemons.

AP: Did either of you ever think about giving up?

STONE: I definitely thought about it. It was like a twice a year thing. Every six months there was a little meltdown. I’ve also thought about giving up in the middle of shoots before. “Well, after this one, I’m just never going to work again. That’s going to be fine. I’m never, ever going to work again because this is clearly not for me.”

GOSLING: About two week before shooting. “Can I still get out of this? They have time to find someone else.” It can be very discouraging. It’s kind of built in a way to discourage you. In some ways now being outside of it, I realize how inefficient it is, the auditioning process. It seems to reward people who are good at auditioning, which doesn’t really have anything to do with what happens when you get on set. The kind of people who are really great in a film I think you’ll find are for the most part pretty bad at auditioning. Yet they never feel they need to tinker with that system at all.

AP: How do you feel about being part of a proudly big-screen film like “La La Land” at a time when television is seen as eclipsing the movies?

STONE: I don’t think films are less than TV now, but there are some amazing characters on TV, so I understand why people want to do TV. When movies are at their full glory, I think it’s pretty mind-blowing. What do you think, Ry?

GOSLING: When I first met with Damien, it wasn’t about this. It was just kind of a general meeting. He has a very infectious love of movies but also of the experience of going to the movies. He talked a lot about wanting to make movies that you couldn’t watch on your iPhone, that you really wanted to see in a theater with an audience.

AP: Your love of movies seems clear, since you’ve previously acknowledged stuffing DVDs down your pants.

STONE: You put DVDs down your pants?!

GOSLING: (laughing) VHS. Look, in these kinds of situations, you’re encouraged to say anything. And it’s celebrated. And then you pay the price for that later.

STONE: Was it to be closer to your favorite movie?

GOSLING: No. It was one story a long time ago where I had to hide an R-rated movie from my parents. It was very intimate. This is the danger of this kind of thing that you do because it haunts us.

AP: Well, it’s a very vivid example of movie love.

GOSLING: I do love movies but I love making them more. I’ve never found something professionally that engages me as much as that. You work with such a large group of people and it’s this constant problem solving process that gets you to this end, whatever that is. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s always a crapshoot.

STONE: For me, watching movies is what makes me want to make movies. I’m so inspired by watching movies. The process of making it is engaging but I get so reinvigorated every time I see a great movie. Then I feel like I’m the character in the movie for the rest of the day. Then I realize I can’t play that same character I just watched.

AP: What was the first film that you mimicked that way?

STONE: “The Jerk.” Also “Hocus Pocus.” It was a combination of “The Jerk” and “Hocus Pocus,” so it shows my age and not my age. (Turns to Gosling) What was yours?

GOSLING: “Hocus Pocus.”

*Featured photo: Ryan Gosling, left, and Emma Stone posing for a portrait to promote their film, “La La Land,” at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Source: http://www.bigstory.ap.org)

LA LA LAND to Receive the Vanguard Award at Palm Springs

Palm Springs, CA (November 21, 2016) – The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present the film La La Land with the Vanguard Award at its annual Film Awards Gala.  The award is presented to the film’s cast and director recognizing its outstanding creative ensemble. Cast members Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and director/writer Damien Chazelle are expected to attend. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mart Hart, will be held Monday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-16.

“Director and writer Damien Chazelle delivers a resonant cinematic masterpiece with La La Land,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “This visually stunning film pays tribute to classic Hollywood musicals with a contemporary love story driven by pitch-perfect performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to La La Land.”

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La La Land Director/Writer Damien Chazelle  (Photo courtesy of ASCA Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, La La Land, from Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label, tells the story of an aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone), and a dedicated jazz musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), both struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

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About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, an upscale black-tie event attended by 2,500, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Steven Wilson / Lauren Peteroy
B|W|R Public Relations
212-901-3920
steven.wilson@bwr-pr.com / lauren.peteroy@bwr-pr.com

David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Society
760-322-2930
david@psfilmfest.org

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(www.psfilmfest.org)

 

La La Land ‘Dreamers’ trailer released

If there’s only one movie you can see this year make it La La Land. With an early limited release scheduled for December 9th in Los Angeles and New York followed up by a nation-wide roll-out, put on your seat belts for this emotional roller-coaster.

Brilliantly conceptualized from the Damien Chazelle team, La La Land tells the story of two young Los Angeleans, Mia and Sebastian seeking fulfillment through the entertainment industry. Mia is an aspiring actress and Sebastian is a classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anyone or anything. Mia, on the other hand, can’t seem to finish an audition without being interrupted. It’s only when their paths cross and the stars align do these two traverse the path of fulfillment.

As performances go, Emma Stone as Mia delivers an all-encompassing performance delicately balancing the drama of her personal life with an expressiveness she’s honed over the last twelve years as an actress in Hollywood.  Ryan Gosling as Sebastian delivers an understated performance that matches his character. Together, the two have made cinematic magic in the spirit and image of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.

La La Land is a film for the ages. Exceptional camera work, ardent choreography, exquisite production design, catchy, melodic musical score, strong direction and over-the-top performances catapult La La Land to the top of the year’s best films. La La Land is the stuff dreams are made of.

 

LA LA LAND to Screen at AFI FEST 2016

LA LA LAND will screen as a Centerpiece Gala at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi. The film — from Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label — is directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle and stars Academy Award® nominees Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. It will screen on Tuesday, November 15, at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

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LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

(Source:www.blog.afi.com)

La La Land to get Early Release on December 9

La La Land,  the sophomore feature follow-up by critically acclaimed Whiplash director, Damien Chazelle, is scheduled for a limited release beginning on December 9th. La La Land, an early favorite for Oscar nominations after strong showings at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride film festivals, is a musical drama about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, California. Ryan Gosling plays the jazz pianist, Sebastian while Emma Stone plays the aspiring actress/playwright Mia. Ms. Stone captured hearts at Venice receiving a Silver Lion for Best Actress for her role as Mia.In addition, La La Land won the coveted Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

The official roll-out release remains scheduled for December 16th.

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(Sources: http://www.variety.com, http://www.thedailystar.net)

FILM REVIEW: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

Film Director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land comes on the heels of his Oscar nominated screenplay adaptation for 2015’s Whiplash, where a highly intense music teacher molds a young, dedicated student. J.K. Simmons performance as the teacher garnered him an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chazelle, an avid music lover, had wanted to do a musical spectacle in the manner of Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Chambourg  while mixing in a splash of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s Singing in the Rain. Moreover, Chazelle wanted a realism mixed into the story. Having resided in Los Angeles for the last ten years and having had a love affair with the city, Chazelle chose the City of Angels to set his Hollywood success-seeker film.

The film opens without much fanfare in a typical Los Angeles morning traffic jam. A young woman, Mia, played by Emma Stone, in a white Prius, is having an issue with her phone and misses an opportunity to move forward as the traffic jam has freed up somewhat. The young man behind her in a late 1980’s maroon-colored, Buick Riviera convertible, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, lets her know with a blare of his horn and a not-so-friendly “good morning to you” gesture. Soon traffic slows again. This time, however, as radio are being dialed in, drivers begin exiting their vehicles and break into to an energetic, six-minute song and dance number, “Another Day of Sun,” staged on the 110 freeway overlooking downtown Los Angeles. As the song concludes, the title is flashed across the screen and the film is off and running with a start reminiscent of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.

La La Land is more about relationship and the life-changing experience two young lovers gain from each other. Mia is an aspiring actress mired in her real job as a barista juxtaposed against a series of failed acting auditions where she is continually interrupted. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a coarse, die-hard classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anything or anyone. As their paths begin to cross Sebastian brushes off Mia as someone who will never understand his plight – until she does. When their paths finally converge, the harsh realities of life begin to set in and the two unknowingly turn to each other in raw emotional exchanges and thereby find the strength each needs to reach the stars.

In a powerful denouement in the city full of optimism and broken dreams, the story concludes with a Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones truism echoed faintly at first only to be finished with an exclamation point:

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need!”

And if the story isn’t enough in itself, the catchy musical numbers credited to Chazelle’s long-time friend and co-collaborator, Justin Hurwitz, will keep almost any music aficionado’s attention. If not, then the roving camera movement of cinematographer Linus Sandgren is bound to keep eyes in the scene. And, if that’s not enough, then the supercharged production numbers from choreographer Mandy Moore will keep you riveted as they sync in timing with Sandgren’s camera movement allowing the actors seemingly the ability to levitate. And in vein with Chazelle’s vision and outright homage to the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s, Production Designer David Wasco keeps the screen illuminated with a bright vision of reds, yellows, pinks, pastel greens and sky blues, aided wonderfully by Mary Zophres’ costuming, while the filming locations could very well serve as a Los Angeles pop culture tour.

If there’s only one film you can see this year – make it La La Land! Highest recommendation.