Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Not much La La left
Every year we try to catch up on popular culture and tune into whatever's hot in the awards and Oscars shortlists. We always fail miserably to a) see them all and b) fully connect, but it's almost fun making some half hearted effort to get there. Films, unlike pop music haven't veered off into another unrecognizable place. Funny that. Maybe it's still to happen. So we saw La La Land, a non-digitally filmed spectacular with dance scenes reminiscent of many a Cliff Richard movie punctuating a bitter-sweet story line. At any moment I expected Una Stubbs to prance across the screen followed by some jokey and clumsy posturing from the Shadows, stranded in Greece without their guitars.
Anyway I liked the colour and the feel, slightly grainy and full of references to some so called golden age that like all the others never really happened. The glossy friendliness and apple pie niceness of the USA seems very far away now, not much La La left. Unfortunately or as you might expect there's nothing in here that gets even close to Fred and Ginger at their best or touches Gene Kelly's almost frightening, madly grinning artistry, despite all the critics comparisons. The tunes were not so hot either, lacking the killer hooks necessary, strangely I did come away happily ear-wormed by A Flock of Seagulls "I Ran". I found Mr Gosling a bit too broody and unlikeable and surprisingly wooden but Emma Stone can move and act, she's the real deal, full of expression and very watchable. What I think hardly matters, I'm sure it'll win a few prizes come the day and the $$$s are in the bank.