I know that I should probably start an article about the violin first, but I am too excited about the movie that has been all over the media lately: La La Land. Maybe this blog won’t add anything new to the tons of information that is already available on the internet, but I wanted to share my view as a musician with you.
The first thing I want to say is: if you haven’t seen the movie, go to the cinema and see it! If you don’t like colourful images, or happy and at the same time heartbreaking songs, it’s probably not the movie for you. And if you have a delicate soul (like me), brace yourself, because this is not the typical love story you might expect.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, I couldn’t have thought of a better combination myself. I loved Gosling in ‘The Notebook’ (apparently I like overly dramatical romantic movies) so I couldn’t wait to see him star in La La Land. As for Emma Stone: I’ve seen her in several other movies (such as ‘Birdman’, ‘The help’ and ‘Spiderman’), and I was curious about her role in this musical movie.
Ok, let’s start analysing this movie without having too much of a spoiler-alert! In the opening scene, you see a traffic jam and the people sitting in their cars start to sing and dance. It’s a typical opening of a musical. Now I have to be totally honest with you: I’m not that into this kind of cliché openings, so I was put off by the opening scene. It took me a while until I thought ‘oh yes, I like where this movie is heading!’ The moment the two characters Mia and Sebastian meet is beautifully introduced by a piano solo played by Sebastian, who is a jazz pianist. The movie enhances the music, so if you like the piece now, you’ll like it even more in the movie.
This piece returns several times in the movie, every time setting a different feeling. I like this piece in specific because it’s timeless. I also like the fact that Ryan Gosling plays piano in every scene himself and that they didn’t use another pianist like they do in a lot of other movies. Learning to play jazz piano like that in three months is just amazing.
Another song that I love is ‘City of stars’, that starts with Gosling singing and then Stone joining in later. You can hear that they’re not the best singers in the world, but that makes it all more real and honest.
The next song takes place during the scene that we all see on the beautiful posters and it’s called ‘A lovely night’. In this song both Mia and Sebastian act as if they are not interested in each other, that results in very fun lyrics like: ‘You say there’s nothing here? Well, let’s make something clear. I think I’ll be the one to make that call. And though you looked so cute in your polyester suit – It’s wool –
You’re right, I’d never fall for you at all’.
And this is just a little fragment of all the things I liked about the movie. Enjoy the songs in the playlist underneath! By the way, I also added the opening song of the movie. It makes me wanna daaaaance, so who is being cliché now?
Author: Nino Natroshvili
Violinist and student at the Utrecht Conservatory, the Netherlands.