La La Land – For the Fools who Dream

After the awards sweep in the 74th Golden Globes – the highest at present – I became more excited to see the romantic musical comedy-drama La La Land. I have always have a soft spot for musicals. So this, for me, is a must see.

The film focuses on the lives of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) a jazz musician and their attempts to reach their dreams.

The movie was released on Philippine cinemas on January 11, a month late from the US release. Prior that, it premiered in the Venice Film Festival last August 21, 2016. It was also screened in a number film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and  BFI London Film Festival.

I managed to catch January 14 screening. And it hit me right in the feels. However, I did not get to blog about it. I couldn’t manage to draw or paint something to post with my views about it. Then, this artist/writer’s block came. I honestly could barely write this right now despite my notes and outlines.

Here are notes I have written for my “review” weeks back:

“A bit of madness is key to give us new colors to see…”
  • Striking use of colors colors from bold solids to the more subdued tones in the end
  • That focus on details! 
  • It has the old film feel in a modern setting
  • It wasn’t too drowned with fancy visuals (Another day of Sun, Someone in the Crowd, Planertarium), some scenes  are just raw (Audition)
  • The acting is good. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have really good chemistry.
  • At first, you may think it is the type of film where the guy gets the girl.
  • It tugs the hearts of those who are chasing their dreams, especially those who are close to giving it up

Looking back, despite the beautiful use of color in the film, I couldn’t capture the light happy vibe in the scenes. I attempted to capture the colors and movement with watercolors but I couldn’t get it right. More importantly, I was drawn to that scene where Mia was invited to an audition when she said she has given up of her dream to become an actress. It isn’t as magical as the Planetarium scene or as vibrant as Someone in the Crowd. In fact, the colors of the scene are close to grays. Her face distraught.

Coming from a person who still struggles to pursue her dream, tears would well on  my eyes whenever I hear her song. I could feel the pain in the lyrics

“Here’s to the fools who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make”

It serves as a reminder to keep the flame of that passion alive and find the meaning of that passion in our lives. It also tells us to take chances, grab opportunities while we still have them. But also bear in mind that pursuit is not always rewarding. Heartaches and disappointments may also come in the way.

In the the end it’s not a simply love story, it’s a story of dreamers and sometimes in the City of Stars, some things don’t get aligned.

In a few hours, it may it may not be hailed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the year’s Best Picture. But it definitely deserves the recognition it earned.

The artwork is made digitally using Clip Studio Paint. Artworks in this blog/website are created by Zai/The Eclectic Miss unless stated otherwise.


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