Movie Review by Fr. Tom Condon, O.P.
La La Land has the ability to seem absolutely fresh and new, while at the same time reminding me of many other movies from the past (including everything from Casablanca to Rebel Without a Cause to Singing in the Rain and West Side Story). Writer-director Damien Chazelle employs a tremendous knowledge and respect for the best of Hollywood, and creates a truly original film. La La Land will likely be one of the top contenders for the Oscars and other awards this year.
Collaborating with an excellent technical team, Chazelle, who brought us the excellent Whiplash two years ago, makes every frame in La La Land look great. The sets, costumes, photography and editing all blend together to give the movie a bright, colorful look. Young director Chazelle takes a chance to bring the first original musical film to the screen in years. It opens with a great number, set on a Los Angeles freeway during a traffic jam. All of a sudden people get out of their cars and begin to sing and dance. What a way to open a movie!