Reality and a dream coalesce
As I sit here writing this article and listening to this nonpareil soundtrack on Spotify, I am overwhelmed by the bittersweet sensation that could only be caused by Mia and Sebastian’s story. Damien Chazelle’s brilliant direction and Justin Hurwitz’s vehement musical production fuse beautifully into the masterwork we now know as La La Land.
The only way I can think to describe both the film’s visuals and music is sparkling. Scintillating, if you will. The creative use of color concentration helps romanticize the film by blurring the line between reality and a dream. “Some of this film takes place in reality and some takes place in some sort of dream. [Chazelle] wanted to make sure there wasn’t much of a jump between reality and dream, so we made reality a little more heightened, as well as magic in a way. Damien felt the film should feel romantic, with colors like Technicolor,” La La Land’s cinematographer Linus Sandgren told the Los Angeles Times. Who was Chazelle’s inspiration for this style of cinematography you may ask? None other than Jacques Demy, the director of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Furthermore, Justin Hurwitz, the composer of the movie’s music, managed to capture the soulful essence of the film in every song, but the best example of this is Mia and Sebastian’s Theme. The song plays as Emma Stone’s Mia and Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian share their final, emotional scene with one another which, while I would not necessarily classify the film as a tearjerker, gets me every single time. Also in that final part of the movie is Mia and Sebastian’s waltz scene which paid homage to another classic: Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell’s Broadway Melody of 1940.