La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J. K. Simmons. USA 2017. 128 mins.
A tribute to the Hollywood musical but with a story embedded in present-day Los Angeles life. Mia (Stone), aspiring actress working in a coffee shop on the Warner Brothers studio backlot, falls for jazz pianist Sebastian (Gosling). Both give effortless performances with stunning song-and-dance routines and remarkable piano playing from Gosling. The transition from musical numbers to powerful narrative is seamless, and bravura one-take shots will draw comparisons to the cinematography of Birdman.
Contains infrequent strong language.