Why Everyone Is Talking About La La Land

There has been an immense amount of buzz around Summit Entertainment’s latest release, La La Land. The film was highly anticipated and after watching it this past weekend, I can see why. Here’s what you need to know, with no spoilers.

The film cleaned out at the 74th Annual Golden Globes winning all seven of the categories it was nominated for!

  • Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Best Screenplay: Damien Chazelle
  • Best Director – Motion Picture: Damien Chazelle
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Ryan Gosling
  • Best Original Song: City of Stars (Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul)
  • Best Original Score: Justin Hurwitz

Not only was it a top performer, but the opening musical number of the ceremony made reference to the film. The opening has received over 6 million views on YouTube in just 2 weeks! This is not surprising as it was superbly executed.

Not only has it won numerous awards already, but the film has made history as being one of the most Oscar-nominated films ever with 13 nominations.

Conversation on social media has been nonstop, peaking at 300 000 unique tweets and 63 500 retweets on the day the 74th Annual Golden Globes aired. Since then, people continue to talk about it, generally raving about the film after seeing it. Although mentions have trailed off, two weeks after the spike in conversation, there is an average of 175 tweets and 242 retweets per hour regarding the film.

#LaLaLand
Online mentions of #LaLaLand over a 30-day period.
Although set in modern times, the film is made in the style of classic 1930s and 40s productions. This is evident throughout the movie. Production design, costume design, music, choreography, shooting style, editing techniques and lenghty takes are all used to give the sense that you’re watching an old MGM classic. This is a major production with complex dance scenes, including the first scene which they had to shut down a Los Angeles highway to film!

Not only are the technical aspect of the production on point, but audiences got to see the cast show-off new talents as seen in this scene where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sing and dance together:

The score, in particular, was something I really enjoyed. I first heard clips of the music in the trailer and knew instantly that this was going to be an epic production. I hadn’t heard of Justin Hurwitz (the composer and writer) until now, but I am now an absolute fan. The film’s soundtrack is currently at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, climbing 15 positions from the previous week.

Having seen the film, I can confirm that the movie is certainly worth all the hype. I loved it and cannot wait to see it again. The film was scheduled for release in South Africa on 27 January 2017, but is already out, likely due to its success at the Golden Globe awards. If you love musicals and classic movies, La La Land is an absolute must-see!

Not convinced? Watch the trailer here:

Still not convinced? Hear my thoughts:

References and Additional Reading

Singin’ in the Rain Review – South African Tour

The stage production is based on the 1952 film, vastly considered one of the greatest on-screen musicals of all time. I’ve loved the music and story from Singin’ in the Rain ever since I saw it years ago. When I heard it was going to be on stage, I knew I HAD to go and see it.

Thanks to a little help from a friend, I managed to get tickets to the opening night of the first Johannesburg performance of the show. From the moment you near the theatre, you know that it’s going to be a memorable occasion. Dozens of umbrellas are used as decor and even the ushers dress the part in yellow raincoats!

fantomdan reviewThe show was incredible! The production is packed with elaborate costumes, catchy music, stunning lighting, and of course, the rain! Not only were the technical aspects flawless, but the amazing vocals and world class choreography demonstrated that local talent is very much alive and well in South Africa. The months of planning and rehearsals come together effortless resulting in a truly mesmerising experience.

Would I recommend the South African tour of Singin’ in the Rain? Yes! Absolutely. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or know nothing about the story, I guarantee that you will leave the show having loved every minute of it. You are so immersed in the music, dance numbers and story that you feel like you have been transported to another time and can’t help but leave in good spirits.

The entire experience was so amazing that I ended up going again for the final show and the experience was just as magical. Should you get the chance to see it on a stage near you, I recommend you make every effort to see it.

Final thoughts: The translation onto stage was spot on and showcased South African talent at it’s best. 

Want to see more? Watch the video below of my experience at the opening night of Singin’ in the Rain at The Teatro at Montecasino: