LaLa Land (2016) – A Levile Review


What is ‘A Levile Review’ you ask?

Narrative: Is the storyline layered with stimulating, emotive content?

Casting: Did the cast members selected deliver their lines with vigour and bring the characters to life?

Cinematography: ‘The art of photography and camerawork in filmmaking’. Did the visuals leave us impressed?

Rating: What we rate the film out of 10.

LaLa land (2016) Directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, which is one our favourite films) 


Two strangers (an aspiring jazz piano player and an aspiring actress) cross paths on two separate occasions unaware that their first conflicting encounter would lead onto a romance based on the fairytale lifestyle in L.A. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone). The story is depicted in musical form using an array of colours and  musical elements to create a unique sound inflected viewing experience for the audience. A note we would like to add, was the underlying subtle appreciation of where jazz originated from. Chapelle paid homage to New Orleans influence of jazz and the natural skill of the soulful jazz players that is considered a dying breed or is being overlooked for the bad and boujee generation we live in today.


Long one take sequences and well cut, fast edits. Damien Chazelle delivered again with a directing masterclass. One particular scene where Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s characters engage in a well shot tap dance routine overlooking the beautiful hills in LA (reference featured image). Even though the drawn out dance sequence on


Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt.

Lets forget about the two obviously stand our cast members. The dancers that were recruited to deliver a cinematic musical experience for the passive cinema goer must be applauded. Every single dancer/performer delivered to a A grade standard and gets credit from the whole Levile. Was it our favourite part of the movie? No…but it was amazing nevertheless. Chazelle embraced the idea of having a diverse cast of ‘Non hollywood‘ looking talent which we believe was a great thing! Back to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, this was easily Emma Stone’s best performance and was absolutely perfect for the role of Mia with her relatable, soft and lovable demeanour. Ryan Gosling was convincing for the vast majority of the film. Great casting choices overall.


This musically focused film may be mistaken for a lala land type fantasy but its far from that. Yes, the film pokes fun at the fairy like nature of L.A., however,  it genuinely supports to idea of following your dreams and showing that one supportive person  in life can make a significant difference in achieving a level of success. This film is for musical lovers and hopeless romantics. The dance sequence at the beginning was shot amazingly well but could come across a little bit corny to some people. Overall it was a great film was an ending that left us very satisfied. 8.5/10.

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