La La Land Review | Bridgewater Hall | Manchester
“This Is For The Fools Who Dream”
The love of La La Land has not died down since its January release date. Instead, it has built-in momentum, receiving a record-breaking seven Golden Globes, six Oscars and a devoted fanbase. The film is a feel-good factory of music and colour, designed to turn the harshest musical hater to a jazz aficionado before they exit the isles.
La La Land revamps the musicals of yesteryear with a grittier realism but doesn’t fail to remind its audience that nothing is more alluring than the magic of movies. The Bridgewater Hall has teamed its classical acoustics with the film for its series of live concert showings. It is a classical meets contemporary medley that is extremely fitting for the hall and brings a diverse crowd of young and old alike.
The Bridgewater places it huge projection screen above its 60-piece orchestra, offering great viewing from all angles of the auditorium. The film begins with a lengthy musical number that plunges you into the colourful, romanticised traffic of Los Angeles. There is an immediate appreciation for the Bridgewater’s immersive sound, as you are placed in a musical world that engulfs you.
The story sees jazz pianist, Sebastian (Ryan Goslin) and aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone) compromise and sacrifice their dreams for love. Although the film plays with expectations of the Hollywood musical, its portrayal of the starry-eyed dreamers is teamed with a nostalgic love for Hollywood glamour. The film beautifully balances the fanciful world of LA with its working class leads and somewhat gritty surroundings.
I will forgo the obvious issues surrounding a young white man saving traditional jazz from the clutches of his black contemporaries and instead accept the films overall love letter to its audience. It voices its audience through its revival of a dying art form that it enriches the spirit, speaks to you directly and brings out your passion.
La La Land is a striking film that packs a harder punch when its music explodes off the screen. The Bridgewater’s orchestra mixes its luxurious tones to bring a story full of life, love, dreams and hope. It's much needed in our current climate so you should watch it on the largest screen available.