The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: ‘La La Land’: A toe-tapping, amazing, musical love story 

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Drew Coffey.

Impressive musical numbers, brilliant cinematography, and Ryan Gosling with Emma Stone. 

Well, looks like we have a masterpiece on our hands which is definitely the right word to describe this film.  

The Oscar-winning “La La Land,” made in 2016, was written and directed by Damien Chazelle and tells the story of a struggling actress and a passionate jazz player who coincidentally fall in love. As their careers take unpredictable directions, they must work through the uncertainties of their relationship.  

Starting with cinematography, the film is masterfully crafted and choreographed especially when it comes to its creative musical scenes. The film has such an energetic and immersive feeling that keeps your eyes from leaving the screen, making “La La Land” the perfect title.  

This is mostly due to the amazing camera work and extremely talented performers in the film. Speaking of talented performers, let us talk about Mr. Gosling and Mrs. Stone.  

The two are absolutely perfect in their roles and have such engaging chemistry that it is almost hard to imagine anyone else as their characters.  

For example, Gosling plays a jazz player who truly respects the art of music and what it used to be. So, throughout the film, we get to see his true passion with such authenticity by Gosling. With him being an extremely talented musician, I am sure it was not hard to portray that to a degree. 

But let us not forget about Emma Stone, who gives an equally powerful and entertaining performance. She plays the role of a struggling actress realistically showing the struggles and constant defeat people in show business can feel on a daily basis.  

Both actors also get to show off their dance moves as they have several impressive and awe-inspiring dance numbers and songs. The choreography is so slick and smooth easily making this film one of the greatest musical films in the genre.  

Director Damien Chazelle is no stranger to music, being a former music student himself. So, it’s safe to say that the music is really the driving point of the whole story.  

The film really encapsulates the power and mysterious beauty that comes with music as it can tell you a story, establish a mood, or take you back to a place of comfort or heartbreak.  

Chazelle loves to let the music feel like an actual character in his films and that is even more apparent in this story.  

The costuming and set designs also establish the setting of the movie showing bright colors that are right out of 1950’s Hollywood. The film was also shot on film rather than digital cameras which gives it a more timeless look.  

Most importantly, I think the ending of the film is what really sets it apart as a love story. Sometimes relationships are negatively affected by the aspirations of dreams and goals which “La La Land” truly proves with its thought-provoking closing moments.  

“La La Land” is truly a film that checks every box of beautiful film making. It looks, sounds, and feels like a piece of art that was passionately made by people who love what they do.  

Overall, the film succeeds in every cinematic facet while delivering a realistic story that hits home for everyone despite their level of love for musicals. “La La Land” deserves all the love it has gotten and will continue to get as it will stand as an amazing work of art, just like the music the film is intensely surrounded by.   

My overall review: 5/5 

Drew Coffey can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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