Subscribe

'La La Land' wins over Venice Film Festival: Will Toronto like it?

The new movie 'La La Land,' which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is winning raves at the Venice Film Festival. The film is the newest to feature song-and-dance numbers following the popularity of movies like 'Into the Woods' and 'Les Misérables.'

  • close
    'La La Land' stars Emma Stone (l.) and Ryan Gosling (r.).
    Dale Robinette/Summit Entertainment/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

A dreamlike musical is quickly becoming one of the hits of the Venice Film Festival as critics embrace “La La Land,” the newest film by “Whiplash” director Damien Chazelle and possibly the latest song-and-dance fest to become an acclaimed hit. 

“Land” stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, with the movie also scheduled to screen at the Toronto Film Festival later this month. The movie will open in a limited release on Dec. 2. 

The film tells the story of a piano player (Mr. Gosling) who becomes romantically involved with a wannabe actress (Ms. Stone). It also stars J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, John Legend, and Rosemarie DeWitt.

Recommended: The 25 best movie musicals of all time

Mr. Chazelle, who also wrote the film, was nominated for best adapted screenplay at the Oscars for his work on “Whiplash” and his movie was nominated for Best Picture.

The movie has received raves so far at the Venice Film Festival, with Time writer Stephanie Zacharek calling it “dazzling.… Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are close to perfection … glorious, open-hearted.” Ms. Zacharek writes that the music is also part of what won her over, calling the ditties “beautifully staged and choreographed, and the mix of styles is playful.” 

Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter also praised the film’s two leads and the music in particular, writing that “once you see Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone go into their moves here, it's as pleasurable to accept them in such roles as it once might have been to embrace, say, Gene Kelly and Shirley MacLaine.... Composer Justin Hurwitz … has delivered an LP's worth of buoyant, charming tunes,” though Mr. McCarthy wrote that “the film loses some of its edge in this final stretch and arguably overstays its welcome by perhaps 10 minutes.” 

Variety writer Owen Gleiberman writes that the movie “isn’t a masterpiece … yet it’s an elating ramble of a movie, ardent and full of feeling.” Mr. Gleiberman lauded the music also, writing, “[The] series of song-and-dance numbers … are tenderly shocking in their catchy anachronistic beauty. The film’s score is such a melodious achievement that there are moments it evokes the bittersweet majesty of George Gershwin.… Gosling and Stone click together as effervescently as they did in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’”

The movie opening in limited release makes it slightly different from recent musical hits like “Into the Woods” and “Les Misérables,” which opened wide and became high-grossing films. Yet “Land” is still the newest in a movie genre that has become more popular in recent years, with films like the 2001 Oscar-nominated box office hit “Moulin Rouge!” and 2002’s high-grossing “Chicago” (which won the Oscar Best Picture) kicking off a new era for the musical movie.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK