They worship everything and they value nothing - Sebastian, La La Land

LA LA LAND has won seven Golden Globe Awards, and has been nominated for 14 Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards, a record it shares with the infamous “TITANIC” and “ALL ABOUT EVE”. I won’t deny that I watched LA LA LAND with very high expectations due to the rave reviews the movie received, and maybe that is why I was quite disappointed. Or maybe, I think LA LA LAND is slightly overrated. LA LA LAND is a musical that tells the tale of Mia, a barista who is passionate about acting and hates Jazz, and Sebastian a pianist struggling to make ends meet and whose love for Jazz boarders an obsession. Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) meet randomly a couple of times and eventually they fall in love. I didn’t like LA LA LAND as much as I should have because of the following reasons.

LA LA LAND had way too many songs in my opinion. Now I know that as a musical, LA LA LAND is supposed to have songs, but I thought some songs like “SOMEONE IN THE CROWD” were unnecessary, because they didn’t add anything substantial to the plot. Moreover, for a movie whose running time is 128 minutes, I thought the plot was left hanging in places. I believe that I could have liked LA LA LAND a little more had they included a small part of Mia’s journey to stardom, because as a viewer I had grown to understand her pain and fear due to what seemed like endless rejections at auditions. Moreover, even though the movie indicated an uncertain future for Sebastian and Mia as a couple, I really wished they could have expanded a little on this scenario so that I could understand the epilogue a whole lot more.

That said, Emma Stone as Mia, and Ryan Gosling as Sebastian were impeccable in their performances. Gone were their personas as huge stars. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling completely blended with the characters that it is almost impossible for me to imagine anyone else as Mia and Sebastian respectively. Emma Stone brings so much depth to Mia, and the way she emotes is just flawless. Ryan Gosling’s portrayal as a passionate Jazz pianist is INSANELY AMAZING. One uplifting scene was when Sebastian was sharing his love for Jazz with Mia. Ryan Gosling said it with so much passion that together with Mia, I really believed Jazz was dying and that it should be restored to its purity with the utmost urgency.

As a person who has mixed feelings about this film, I will leave it to the readers to decide whether to watch the film or not. However, I am sure that people who will decide to watch the movie will concur that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling gave outstanding performances.

Film Details

  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Runtime: 2h 8min
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Portia Uwase
Portia Uwase Zuba’s academic interests are Economics, International Affairs, and French.