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Movies & TV

25th Dec 2017

The Top Ten Movies of 2017 – #07 – La La Land

Rory Cashin

“City of stars…”

Welcome to JOE’s countdown of the Ten Best Movies of 2017. We’ll be counting them down one-by-one, with the #1 spot revealed on New Year’s Eve.

The #07 spot goes to… LA LA LAND

Irish Release Date: 12 January

Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Rosemarie Dewitt, J.K. Simmons.

Director: Damien Chazelle

Budget: $30 million

Worldwide Box Office: $446 million

Very few movies have the balls La La Land possesses. Sure, there were some issues with famously Caucasian Ryan Gosling single-handedly saving jazz music from the doldrums of obscurity, but that was hardly the focus of the movie.

Instead, it centred on two attractive people – Gosling and Stone – who found each other attractive, and attempting to move forward together in a relationship, while also attempting to move forward individually as people. But can those two life progressions peacefully co-exist, or do you inevitably have to choose between being happy with what you do or being happy with you you’re with?

Clip via Lionsgate Movies

Additionally, in an age when original musicals in cinema are basically non-existent – the popular ones like Chicago or Les Miserables have been around for a minute – it comes as a bit of a surprise that the writer/director who brought them back into fashion (for exactly 2 hours and 5 minutes) was the same guy who directed the nail-biting thriller-drama Whiplash, and wrote the screenplay for alien invasion-er 10 Cloverfield Lane.

La La Land represented a moment of perfect timing, an externally feel-good romantic musical that actually came with a kick-you-in-the-balls ending that came out of nowhere and left viewers feeling cheated, but somehow… in a good way?

It helps that Gosling and Stone sell the hyper-reality so well (and thank God they replaced original casting choices Miles Teller and Emma Watson), and after their obvious chemistry in Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad, and third time was a charm for them as Gosling got a Best Actor nom and Stone actually went on to win Best Actress.

It did, and then didn’t, win Best Picture, which was such a perfect reflection of the movie’s own happy-oh-no-wait-it-isn’t-happy ending. But don’t let that kerfuffle overshadow the memory of the movie itself, one of two people with dreams of big love and a big future, and an even bigger dream where they can hopefully have both.

For further reading on our end of year list, check out the following:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge