Film Preview: La La Land (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 17, 2016) Original
(August 28, 2016) New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#2)
(November 6, 2016) New Trailer (#3) / New Posters (#3-#4)
(December 4, 2016) New Posters (#5-#7)

Release Date:

December 16, 2016


From IMDb: “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”

Poster Rating: B / B- / C- / C- / B / C / C-

Review: (#1) It’s a simple, modestly elegant design that hearkens back to a long-gone time when “La La Land” was a popular term for Hollywood.

(#2) Like the first film, the uncomplicated efficiency of the design conjures up memories of 1970s poster designs without entirely breaking the mold.

(#3-#4) These two designs aren’t that different except for the second one features tons of accolades and festival appearances. Neither does a sufficient job creating an impression in the audience that this is a genuine must-see film and not your typical year-end awards claptrap.

(#5) Leave it to the French to have the classiest design. Although it suffers like many of the prior designs, the font selection and scenery set a beautiful and romantic tone. (#6) The PhotoShoppers got together and created something truly bland. For a series of posters that haven’t been exceptional, it’s a glaring decision. (#7) The purpose of this particular design, other than kissing, seems unclear. Why the white tufts at the corner? Why nothing more than shimmery background flakes that vaguely look like they could be stars? It seems like something’s missing, which makes the design feel hollow.

Trailer Rating: B- / B / B-

Review: (#1) For a musical, this trailer sure isn’t very musical. There are couple of hints at musical dance numbers interspersed, but the straight-forward romantic drama seems to be the trailer’s focus, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just misleading.

(#2) Emma Stone sings a light, beautiful song against the backdrop of strong imagery from the film. You get the sense that this is a love affair, perhaps one similar to A Star Is Born, but it doesn’t go beyond that. You get the Old Hollywood feel without the Old Hollywood aged sentimentality.

(#3) While it’s hard to sell a movie musical without using the music heavily, the producers still seem to think they can do so. While this does a better job of evoking the musicality, it feels less interesting and impressive than the prior effort.

Oscar Prospects:

For his next few films, Damien Chazelle is going to be considered an “It” director, which means those films will be preliminary Oscar contenders. This will be the first to test his staying power. The last “It” director that earned major Oscar attention, Benh Zeitlin, has already disappeared into obscurity, having not made a film since his 2012 Oscar nomination for Best Director. Chazelle seems fully intent on keeping things going and this musical could prove whether he has what it takes or of his first film was a one-off.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

Trailer #3


Poster #1Poster #2Poster #3

Poster #4Poster #5Poster #6

Poster #7

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