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A lovely night for La La Land

Breaking the recent pattern in suspenseful and intense book-related films, “La La Land’s” release last December provides audiences with a breath-taking story. The movie presents a beautifully aesthetic experience of cinema.
“La La Land” was directed by Damien Chazelle and stars Hollywood favorites Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. The movie constructs a picture of love, hope and art with the story of an optimistic actress and devoted jazz musician.
The film swept the floor in January, winning all seven of its nominated categories at the Golden Globes. “La La Land” set the record for the most Golden Globes won by a single movie. Awards included best actor and actress in musical or comedy, best director and screenplay, best original song, best original score, and best picture for comedy or musical.
Although Gosling and Stone have not previously been known for musical success, the movie also received a shocking 93% overall on Rotten Tomatoes. Soundtrack sales spiked after the high ratings and awards.
Starring as a ragtime Jazz pianist, Gosling intrigues the nation with his capability to learn and play all of his character’s piano parts throughout the film. Gosling learned a lifetime of piano in merely three months from scratch, and a stunt double was not necessary according to the music director Marius De Vries.
“I have a couple degrees in performance, I know the hours it takes to put into one song,” said ORU Assistant Professor of Voice Michelle Eiler. “It’s refreshing that they used actors that aren’t primarily singers or pianist and developed their talent for the movie. I think it’s saying everyday people can be musicians.”
Gosling’s character looks at the piano like an old friend after each piece performed, as he spent almost two hours every day learning piano skills during shooting.
“It’s a lot of time alone, and you become quite anti-social,” said Gosling in a later interview. “I had to play that piece for months for hours every day.”
The film strikingly also compliments the unknown talents of Emma Stone in a solo original called “Audition” at the end of the movie. Spoilers not included, this highly emotional and though-provoking song was shot in one take.
“[My students] might be inspired by her gentleness, the way she played and emoted the song were wonderful,” said Eiler by her grand piano as she prepared to finish her vocal lessons remaining in the afternoon.
According to Justin Hurwitz, the main composer in the production, the song was not lip-synced or modified in any way. It was one clean take, with Stone and a piano communicating an overall message to encourage creative listeners.
Among key revolutionary factors pushing into this movie, “La La Land” continues to inspire audiences with its old Hollywood relatable story.
As its success continues, “La La Land” prepares to take on the Oscars on Feb. 26, matching a record for 14 nominations at once. If the movie takes home each of these awards, it will set the record for most Oscars won for a single film.
The show is still playing in Tulsa, and is estimated to release on DVD in April 2017.