Damien Chazelle's experiment at reviving the musical genre was similar to a theme park experience; it is an acceleration of emotions and depth, accompanied by excessive colours, and a defined contrast between reality and "show time".
Considering that his last short-film-turned-feature was Whiplash (2014), overtaking it seems almost unfaithful to his Oscar winner. So, Chazelle takes a totally different path and creates a film incomparable to Whiplash and nails it. I haven't seen Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) yet, but I will give it a go after La La Land.
This is a film about the spotlight and Chazelle reminds this to his viewer constantly. It is not an indie film unlike his debut, it is hundred percent Hollywood and Chazelle is paying homage to classic Hollywood cinema.
Perhaps the most authentic visuals in La La Land are the scenes where he portrays LA and Sebastian's love for Mia. A place where everyone and everything is supposed to be beautiful on the surface, Sebastian is scratching the latter to find something real. His dream is not one that LA is advertising.
Mia on the other hand, with her wounded voice and big hopeful eyes, instantly pulls the dreamers among the viewers in. Stone has this unique quality about her acting, she is always relatable. This is especially important in La La Land as "American Dream", in fact, is a universal dream.
I have so much more I can say about this film but before revealing more, I will wait for everyone to watch it and tell me what they think.
If I'd have to rate it like I'm a total legit film critic, I'd give it 4/5 or like 8/10 or maybe 16/20, no I would give it 17/20 to be honest, anyway it's a solid film, but it would have worked better as just a film because my expectations from a musical film can only be delivered by Baz Luhrmann.