The musical La La Land (2016) is visually impressive thanks to bright cartoonish colors and surrealistic settings. The film, which is ultimately an old-fashioned story of failures and successes in the art world, is, however, overlong, slowed down by music and ballet, neither too exciting. Whatever doesn't work is redeemed by the splendid ending.
A long line of cars is stuck on a highway. A young woman gets out of the car
and starts dancing, soon joined by other drivers and passengers.
When traffic starts moving, a young woman doesn't notice and a young man
in an old convertible gets upset. She works as a waitress. Suddenly she
remembers that she has an audition and runs out hitting a customer and causing
him to pour his drink on his shirt and her shirt.
The audition doesn't go well and she gets bad news on the phone, so she walks
home (a very nice apartment) in a bad mood.
Mia has female housemates who are going to a party. They insist that she joins
them. Unfortunately, she parks in an illegal spot and her car gets towed away,
so she has to walk a long way home in the middle of the night.
She hears someone playing the piano in a restaurant and walks in.
The player is Sebastian, the same young man who honked at her on the highway.
A flashback shows what happened to him after that encounter.
He found his friend Laura in his apartment. He is a poor afterhaving been ripped off. He spends his time practicing jazz classics on the piano.
In the evening he walks into the restaurant that hired him and the owner insists
that he plays a set of Christmas songs and no free improvisation.
Hours later Sebastian can't resist and starts improvising.
That's when Mia walks in.
Sebastian gets fired, and Mia doesn't have a chance to talk to him.
Some times later Mia is at a pool party and recognizes the keyboard player
of a cover band: it's the piano player, Sebastian.
Their first chat is rather hostile but they sing and dance together in front
of a night view of the city.
Sebastian visits Mia while she is working at the restaurant.
Mia tells Sebastian that she's dreaming of becoming an actress, and he tells her
that his dream is to open a jazz club.
They tour the nearby film studios.
She gets the audition she was hoping for but she is rejected after just a few seconds.
Mia dumps her boyfriend for Sebastian. Sebastian encourages
Mia to write a one-woman play.
Sebastian meets an old friend who offers him a permanent job playing in his band.
Sebastian is not happy to hear that his friend plays poppy jazz but he knows
that Mia is serious about their relationship and counts on his steady income.
The band gets hysterical arena-size audiences, but Mia senses that Sebastian
is not happy to play that pop muzak.
Sebastian breaks it to Mia that the band will be on tour for a couple of years
and asks her to follow him. Mia is busy rehearsing her play.
Their relationship is strained.
Mia's play opens and Sebastian cannot attend it.
Mia performs in front of a small cold audience that does not like it.
Sebastian shows up when Mia is leaving the club in tears.
She decides to move back with her parents.
A few days later, though, someone calls Sebastian looking for Mia: she wants
Mia to audition for a new film. Sebastian drives to her town and talks her into
doing it. The audition goes well.
Five years later, Mia is rich and famous. She lives in a mansion with her
husband and a little daughter.
Sebastian is the owner of a jazz club and is still single.
One night Mia and her husband get stuck in traffic and decide to just pick
a random restaurant. They end up in Sebastian's club.
Sebastian sees her and plays their theme song.
She walks towards him, they kiss and then engage in a wild dance.
We see a rapid sequence of scenes that imagine their parallel careers if they
had stayed together. Then a sient movie that summarizes their (imagined)
private life: marriage, pregnancy, baby, etc.
But it all happened in his mind. When Sebastian ends his melancholy tune,
Mia and her husband leave the club. For one second Mia and Sebastian stare
at each other... and smile.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
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