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The Growl

The Growl

‘La La Land’ strikes a chord with it’s incredible acting

Lions Gate
Ryan Gosling as Sebastian Wilder(Left) and Emma Stone as Mia Dolan (Right) take a walk down the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, CA.

A few months ago, I was at my friend’s house for a movie night. The theme for it was musical movies. Although, I was never much of a fan of musicals, “La La Land” quickly changed that opinion.

Originally released in 2016, “La La Land” is the story of Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling), and Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) and their dreams. Sebastian dreams of opening a Jazz club whereas Mia dreams of becoming a successful Hollywood actress.

Fair warning, this article will contain spoilers. I strongly suggest you watch the movie before reading this article.

Mia and Sebastian run into each other several times throughout the film’s beginning. These run-ins culminate with the two growing closer and entering a relationship. However, as time passes they begin to take steps toward their dreams, they drift apart.

Gosling and Stone do an excellent job of portraying a true-to-life relationship between Mia and Sebastian. The relationship feels very real making it much easier to relate to them. You as the audience want the two to stay together throughout the movie and succeed together. However, that hope is soon crushed.

After an argument between Sebastian and Mia regarding a phone call the former had overheard, Sebastian accidentally misses the play Mia would put on and perform in. This leads to their relationship ending and Mia returning home to Boulder City, Nevada.

Sebastian, now alone in his apartment in LA, receives a call from a casting director trying to reach Mia. This call motivates Sebastian to find her and help Mia achieve her dream.

I love this part of the movie because it shows that despite everything Sebastian has done to hurt Mia, he still wants to support her dreams. It shows his commitment and willingness to atone for his actions after he’s given up on his dream to support hers.

After Mia’s audition, Sebastian and she sit on a bench beneath the Griffith Observatory to discuss what will happen next. The two admit that they will always love each other before the screen fades out and a five-year time skip occurs.

Hearing that dialogue for the first time nearly drove me to tears. The way Stone and Gosling deliver these lines feels like a conversation between two real people discussing what may happen. It is a touching moment to listen to these two realize the importance they share in each other’s lives.

During the time skip, however, Mia achieves her dream of becoming a successful actress. She also started a family during this time. While in Hollywood for the premiere of one of her movies, Mia and her husband wind up in a Jazz club called Sebs.

Once inside, Sebastian gets up on stage and, upon seeing Mia, welcomes the crowd to Sebs before sitting down at the piano and playing the same song he played when the two met. A sequence then plays over with the song in the background of if the two had stayed together.

This ending left an impression on me. Yes, the two achieved their dreams but at the same time, they had to do it without each other. As a viewer, you watched their entire relationship mature and fall apart. It’s heartbreaking to witness and proves that sometimes these things need to happen so you can grow. Gosling and Stone’s amazing acting only adds to these emotions.

If you’re in the mood for an emotional movie that will bring you to tears, music that will leave you amazed, and experience a great love story with a loved one, “La La Land” is the one for you.

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About the Contributor
Kaeleb Hanson
Kaeleb Hanson, Editor
Hey! My name is Kaeleb Hanson and if you’ve read Growl last year then you may have seen some of my articles floating around. It’s my second year here and unfortunately, my last year since I'm a senior now. But that isn’t going to prevent me from writing about topics or people I think are important! I hope to make an impact on the school as a whole and give a voice to the stories of South Hills.
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