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La La Land

Here's to the fools who dream. 

Year: 2016 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Damien Chazelle 
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend  
An image from La La Land

La La Land is a critically acclaimed, creative and magical piece of cinema which has won seven golden globes, five BAFTAs and even six Oscars despite the best picture mix-up.

The film is set in modern day Los Angeles and stars Emma Stone as Mia, an aspiring actress who works as a part-time barista whilst trying to get her big break. Ryan Gosling stars alongside her as Sebastian, a pianist with an ambition to open his own Jazz Club. The narrative follows the pair falling in love and pursuing their own ambitions through a wonderful combination of smooth romance and comedy.

Though the musical numbers are glamorously vibrant the natural rawness of Stone and Gosling’s singing helps give the film a greater depth and stronger emotional resonance than simple glossy vocals could provide.

The director Damien Chazelle, who previously directed Whiplash, artfully uses semiotics to evoke a sense of nostalgia associated with the classical musicals of the 1960s as bright colours and spotlights dance across the screen, enlivened by the jazz-pop soundtrack.

La La Land grounds the magic of musicals in modern life whilst evoking a sense of charm and adventure in which Chazelle both reminisces about the old Hollywood pictures and innovatively sets the ground for the future of film-making by firmly rooting La La Land amongst the classics. .

Alice Saunders

Taking place against the backdrop of glamorous contemporary LA infused in a warm 1950s undertone, the story follows two creatively driven young people, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastien (Ryan Gosling), who meet several times and fall in love due to their shared longing to turn their dreams into a reality. Mia aspires to become a successful actress and Sebastien’s passion for old-school jazz leads him in trying to open his own jazz club. However as they encourage each other to pursue their goals, they face several hardships and struggles that threatens their ability to keep their relationship from falling apart.

It’s a film that is all at once daring and bold, bittersweet and sentimental, fun and entertaining. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone both have natural chemistry as an on-screen couple which is enjoyable to watch. The singing and music provide their love story with genuine soul and a lively spirit which only enhances the film’s magical yet down-to-earth character and provides it with a classic edge that will leave you feeling a strong sense of nostalgia and inspiration.

Iram Ghouri Ghouri

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Screenings of this film:

2016/2017 Summer Term (digital)
2016/2017 Summer Term (digital)
2016/2017 Summer Term (digital)
2016/2017 Summer Term (digital)
2021/2022 Autumn Term (digital)
2022/2023 Spring Term (digital)
2023/2024 Autumn Term (digital)