Every so often, a movie hits theaters and leaves me breathless, satisfied and a complete emotional train wreck.
Even less often, I find a film that fulfills my various cinematic needs and checks that list.
“La La Land” did all of that and more.
The movie, directed by Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash,” “10 Cloverfield Lane”), is a wonderful mix of traditional and modern art — showcasing the best the film and music industry, past and present, has to offer.
“La La Land” follows the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), an ambitious jazz musician. The plot highlights the duo’s journey through modern-day Los Angeles.
The perfectly-paced 128-minute movie is compelling throughout, never leaves the audience asking questions and is one of the most beautiful displays of cinematography in recent history.
Oh, and do yourself a favor, listen to the soundtrack.
Every time I find myself playing the movie’s title track, “Mia and Sebastian’s Theme,” I fall back into the world I quickly fell in love with.
After winning a record-breaking seven Golden Globe awards on Jan. 8, “La La Land” finds itself in rare company — surpassing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Midnight Express'” former record of six awards.
Rottentomatoes.com gave “La La Land” a terrific 92% and I’m not opposed to the score, but I give it a sensational 98%.
THOUGHTS: It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the movie. In my humble opinion, “La La Land” was the best movie of 2016.
Additional movie recommendations: “Moonlight,” “Loving,” “Fences.”