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by Reg Starkey
LA LA LAND *****
For me, this was the most enjoyable of all the films in the OSCAR line-up.
It does not start well but if you get through the first 20 minutes, you are in for a
most delightful musical romance where Love conquers All except Ambition.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are
both absolutely brilliant as the
young lovers you hope will live
happily ever after but who choose
to follow their Dreams rather
than listen to their Hearts. Damien
Chazelle, who directed Whiplash, an earlier film
about obsessive Ambition, makes the sadness in La La
Land very beautiful indeed.
This is an unusual rites-of-passage movie set in Miami, which starts
better than it ends. Originally a play called `In Moonlight little black
boys look blue', Moonlight the Movie is totally filmic, with wonderful
performances throughout just better at the beginning and middle
than the end. Directed with tremendous flair by Brian Jenkins, English
actress Naomie Harris is excellent as
the troubled drug-addicted single
mother. Moonlight (eventually!)
won Best Picture but would
not have got my vote in such a
competitive field.