The return of the musical

Colin Kamphuis

It’s rare today for a major Hollywood film to be a musical, although this was a popular genre in the 1930s and 1940s.


“La La Land” bucks this trend by recreating a movie the likes of which hasn’t graced the silver screen in 70 years.


“La La Land” is a modern musical in the style of Hollywood classics from a bygone era. It features Seb (Ryan Gosling), an aspiring pianist who struggles to reconcile his love of jazz with a world that has forgotten it. Mia (Emma Stone) is a struggling actress who has never had a successful audition.


After a series of serendipitous encounters, the two encourage each other to follow their dreams despite their failures. Eventually the two fall in love, their chemistry driving the film.


The film is beautifully scored and directed, with wonderful performances from Gosling and Stone. The two do all their own singing and dancing, and Gosling even learned to play piano for the role.


“La La Land” was a clear standout for 2016, perhaps even for the last decade considering no other popular movie has captured past Hollywood grandeur so well.