Damien Chazelle’s first film, Whiplash, was a taut and vicious melodrama about perfectionism. His second is a giddy musical about hopes, dreams, and Hollywood. Somehow they make sense together.
La La Land is opening this week, and it’s just about the best thing in theaters right now. My review is at PopMatters:
It starts on a car-choked overpass and ends in a kind of heartbreak. But in between those moments, Damien Chazelle’s giddy La La Land conjures up much the same exuberant yet melancholic fizz evoked by the Golden Era musicals it harkens back to. Fortunately, it doesn’t feel constricted by the rules of those old studio vehicles…
Here’s the trailer.