Aspiring actress serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and jazz musician Sebastian scrapes by playing cocktail-party gigs in dingy bars. But as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.Written by
Emma Stone performed "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" live. She would decide when to switch from dialogue to singing. There was no pre-recorded track she was lip-syncing to. Justin Hurwitz, the song's composer, was in another room playing piano in her ear. Director Damien Chazelle said this was done so Emma could have more control of the scene. See more »
The day Sebastian visits Mia at her coffee shop, Mia entered work wearing black pants with a yellow bag. When Mia leaves work, she is wearing a blue skirt with a red bag. When they show a long shot of Sebastian and Mia walking on the lot, she is seen to be wearing black pants. Then in the next shot, she is wearing the skirt again. See more »
The main characters in this Los Angeles romantic musical are Mia (Emma Stone), a coffee-shop employee with dreams of being an actress; and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist who aspires to open his own club that plays jazz like it was played in the good old days.
At long last: a movie released during the 2016 awards season that actually lives up to the hype!
Early in the film, there are two superb group musical numbers. The numbers that follow are more low-key relating only to the main characters but they are still well performed and executed.
The stories of career struggle within the broader narrative are very believable. They include the hell of auditioning to people who are too busy plus the desire to maintain the purity of a great music genre (jazz) while too often being told it is "a dying art".
Gosling takes a while to break into the role particularly where the singing is concerned but it's not long before he fits into the part quite nicely. Stone is superb throughout the film. She is even spot-on as an actress giving mediocre auditions. She's given a full range - and not just as a triple threat - and she fully lives up to the expectations especially during the song "Audition" near the end.
There is something uniquely enjoyable about Hollywood portraying itself. The movie also gives nods to great classic musicals like "Singin' in the Rain", "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort", and "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" all the while being unique and standing out on its own. In addition, the set designs and photography add further to the film's greatness.
The reference to "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" comes through strongly in the movie's final number. This scene is probably the best scene of any movie in 2016. It leaves one with so many mixed emotions and extreme on either side. The production number is magnificent while its mood is melancholy.
The teaming of director/writer Damien Chazelle with musical composer Justin Hurwitz is one of the best matches since Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand in the 1960s. - dbamateurcritic
1) Directing by Damien Chazelle
2) Acting by Emma Stone
3) Music by Justin Hurwitz
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