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With Emma Stone recently nabbing the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival and critics absolutely adoring it, the Damien Chazelle-directed La La Land is shaping up to be easily one of the biggest hits of 2016. Other actresses who have won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations for their respective roles, these include Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven (2002), Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006) and Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There (2007). Plus it is the third Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone collaboration, the first two being Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and everyone's favourite gangster flick, Gangster Squad (2013), so you are guaranteed at least a bit of chemistry in this character-driven picture.
This ode to Hollywood, with its ability to make all of one's dreams come true then take it all away in an instant, has been a critical darling thus far and the following are reasons why I believe it will receive immense love come December and beyond.
Watch its incredibly beautiful trailer below:
Fantastic Critical Reviews Can Never Hurt
La La Land is currently sitting at a 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.6/10 and 25 reviews thus far. As someone currently living in Toronto as TIFF is progressing, the buzz around town for this movie is insane. It could be that everyone is excited to see King Canada aka Ryan Gosling possibly show up for its premiere, however I'm sure the incredible word for this film may have something to do with the buzz.
The Release Date Is Perfect
The film is scheduled for a limited release on December 2nd, 2016, and its wide release being December 16th. You know what other movie is set for wide release that weekend? ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.
Do you know one of best, and most surprising, ways a movie can possibly make money? Go head-to-head against a Star War. No, I am not taking crazy pills. Last year, the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters and Alvin And The Chipmunks 18: How Are They Still Making These Things? both came out opening weekend against Star Wars: The Force Awakens... When every possible screening was sold out for The Force Awakens, people with children took them to see Alvin and others who don't need to worry about keeping another human alive went to laugh away their sadness at missing Star Wars by watching Sisters. The result? Sisters made more than $100 million worldwide and Alvin made almost $235 million. Counter-programming is a disgusting beauty and when moviegoers are left with deciding what to watch, they may check out Rogue One next week since it was sold out and watch that new Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone movie tonight.
The Pairing Of Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling
People love watching these two together on-screen. Granted, the aforementioned Gangster Squad was not loved by many, however an aspect to the film many may agree on is that the chemistry between Stone and Gosling is heavily present in everything they do. To watch a film that seems to take inspiration from the classic Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical pairing attracts not only lovers of classic Hollywood, but modern-day audiences as well who may not be familiar with the talents of Rogers/Astaire and are left with a surprise love of a genre they never really gave a second thought to... Plus the added benefit of all the swoons you'll hear in the theatre when they sing to one another.
Damien Chazelle's Direction
2014's Whiplash, a film that explored the relationship between an ambitious young jazz drummer and his mildly eccentric music instructor, was directed by Chazelle that received immense critical acclaim and made me have occasional heart palpitations during my watch...
If Chazelle could take even half the intensity he brought to Whiplash and channel it toward anything in La La Land, we are going to be left with a fantastic picture. The word-of-mouth could spread to those who aren't even fans of the musical genre about how amazing this movie is and cause even semi-interested parties to give it a chance.