Not that this movie is short of endorsements, but just in case you haven't already heard, La La Land is a phenomenal film. If you even remotely follow the Hollywood film scene, you're probably sick of hearing this and seeing all those for-your-consideration advertisements everywhere. This movie is literally everywhere you go. And I completely understand that the awards season blitz can be a pretentious distraction that sometimes purposes its existence solely as a hype-creating machine. For some, this machine is helpful in framing their expectations of a film, but for others, it's really just unnecessary noise.
I'll be honest, I've seen this movie three times now and the likelihood of me stopping by my local Cineplex again before the end of the month is pretty high. But for a movie that generated so much hype and attention that early in its marketing, I was lucky to have seen it at TIFF. I mean, even then, there was hype coming out of Venice but the waters were still pretty shallow. There wasn't this tidal wave of marketing and attention, and the notion that you're about to see something huge. And this type of expectation setting is distracting, because despite how big La La Land has become (which is all good news for the film and everyone involved), at its core, this is actually a pretty small movie. The production may be grand at times, but this is a film about two ordinary people with big dreams. Everything within their ordinary and dream worlds is pretty contained, and like its two main characters, the film itself should feel like something that could - not something that will be. La La Land deserves that kind of fresh lens from its viewers, but the hype surrounding it surely makes this difficult (says the guy who has a banner and video on his website advertising the amount of recognition La La Land is getting).
Now, ignoring all this and forgetting about what the movie means to the film industry and popular culture right now, here's a quick snapshot of what La La Land means to me personally. If you've been around long enough, your list of all-time favourite films will invariably get longer and longer. But let's be honest, how often does that list actually grow? Most of the movies on my own personal list have been there for a while, and that's not to say that movies have to necessarily stand the test of time to be crowned an all-time favourite, it's just a testament of how rare it is to come across films we connect with on that level. I don't like to sit down and make lists like this all the time, but I'm fairly confident that La La Land will be on my list the next time I'm asked about it.
I can go on to list out all the things I love about this movie, but I'll just keep it short and say this: La La Land might not be the most sophisticated or refined piece of filmmaking out there, but that doesn't make it any less of a film. This is a movie that's able to do what it does purely because it uses the medium of cinema to its fullest. The end result is absolutely beautiful and I'll be sure to carry that thought with me when I see this movie in theatres for a fourth time.