It attempted to induce the romanticism of the old & classic Hollywood dream, but for me that’s for the most part what it was….an attempt, coming close at times, but never reaching its target.
The last time I saw Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone together was for another over hyped movie “Crazy Stupid Love,” But this time the two brought with them their acting & singing chops which for me were good or passable, but not jaw dropping. I had the same reaction to Stone’s singing that I did Anne Hathaway or Scarlett Johanson as in “oh cool she can sing.” Gosling’s singing and dancing scenes most definitely tipped a hat in tribute to Danny Kay or Fred Astaire but only in that I now have a huge want to see their talents rather than his.
So what worked? Well as a 180 from Damian Chazelle’s “Whiplash” it was nice to see that when it came to jazz, this film took the perspective of adoring the musicality from its origins, rather than the exaggerated dictatorial stance from his previous film. Expect this movie to be nominated for a lot of the visual awards: art direction, editing, costume design, cinematography. It could very well walk away with one or more of those, but I’d have to see the rest of the competition to judge. But this film did effectively use primary colours both in costume and cinematography very well
Overall the movie you could tell was more written for Emma Stone than it was Ryan Gosling. There were some memorable scenes, but as someone who isn’t a fan of musicals to begin with, I don’t know this one entirely qualifies as one. The film really only had two songs that repeated themselves quite a bit throughout its duration. In the end did it invoke nostalgia? Yes, so much so that I would rather see Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in that five-minute number of “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” rather than two hours of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone trying to do so.