Saturday, April 22, 2017

La La Land

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Six-Time Oscar-Winner Released on Home Video 

La La Land will forever be remembered as the film that was erroneously announced as the Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards. However, this nostalgic homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood is also a panoramic masterpiece not to be missed.

Written and directed by the youngest, Best Director Oscar-winner in history Damien Chazelle, the picture was shot in CinemaScope, a supposedly-obsolete technology that fell out of favor with filmmakers in the late Sixties. 
But Chazelle resurrected the wide-angled lens for a last hurrah in service of an old-fashioned musical unfolding against a breathtaking array of L.A. backdrops. La La features an enchanting Oscar-winning score by Justin Hurwitz who landed another for Best Song ("City of Stars").

This relatively-ambitious romantic romp revolves around Sebastian Wilder and Mia Dolan, struggling artists played to perfection by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a Best Actress-winning performance. Their talented supporting cast includes J.K. Simmons, John Legend and Rosemarie DeWitt. 
After a showstopping opening staged on a gridlocked freeway where stuck motorists suddenly break into song and dance, we're introduced to the likable leads. We learn that jazz pianist Sebastian's a purist playing for tips in dingy dives while trying to save enough cash to open his own nightclub. Mia's an aspiring actress who divides her time between fruitless auditions and a thankless job as a barista at a coffee shop right on the Warner Brothers lot.

Seb and Mia are strangers who initially experience only aggravation whenever their paths serendipitiously cross. Eventually, sparks do finally fly, which inspires them to belt out mellifluous and melancholy tunes. More importantly, they fall in love and encourage each other to pursue their elusive dreams. 
Since it would be unfair to spoil any of the ensuing plot developments, suffice to say that Gosling and Stone are pure delight, whether warbling or just generating screen chemistry. A charming crowd-pleaser that richly deserves all the superlatives it has received from critics and audiences alike!

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity
Running time: 128 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle; Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway; La La Land's Great Party; Ryan Gosling: Piano Student; Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project; La La Land's Love Letter to Los Angeles; The Music of La La Land; John Legend's Acting Debut; The Look of Love: Designing La La Land; Ryan and Emma: Third Time's the Charm; Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream; Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos; and a song selection.

To see a trailer for La La Land, visit:

To order a copy of La La Land on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:


No comments: