If you’re like me, you’re still a little tipsy from La La Land‘s “City of Stars” trailer. This is perfectly okay, and I’m glad to have you along the ride with me. La La Land has been such a breath of fresh air into the world of musicals, at least trailer wise. So far, they’ve been able to tackle two trailers with catchy, sing-along tunes. They’ve been able to capture the magic of musicals, which we haven’t seen since Hairspray in the 80s (I’d even argue the remake from 2007). I love, love, love, love musicals. They are infectious and a true delight to watch, when they are done right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to step up and suggest Moulin Rouge! or Chicago, maybe even Les Miserables, but this just feels a little bit more magical. Maybe because it is completely new; original music, a fresh story. Whatever it is, I’m pining for December.
Anyways, I’ve stalled you long enough. You’ve come for the main show, and I’m offering you some second-rate commentary on why it’s already so good. Snap to, the second trailer for La La Land was titled “Audition,” and believe it or not, it’s better than the first trailer. Like, a lot better, and that’s hard for me to say (I deeply loved the first trailer). While I wait for them to upload the song to Google Play (or the Music Store), let’s breakdown trailer number two.
Back to my Iris Shot, Damien Chazelle is already hitting all the right notes. To contrast from the first song, the beat is slower and the shot is inside the busy action of the city. We are pulled away from the full on blue, and are entered into a sunset of orange and blue. The city is blossoming and it’s no longer Ryan Gosling‘s Sebastian’s turn to tell the story. Emma Stone‘s Mia is pulling out all the stops on her own.
Here’s to the ones who dream… Mia seems to contemplate herself before revealing a smile. This is the start of her journey, and she seems like she is currently happy with the life she is making for herself.
Foolish as they may seem… A reintroduction of Sebastian. Once again, it feels firmly set that Gosling’s character knows who he is and what he wants from life. Following along with the lyrics, it seems relevant that both of them are dreamers who seem like they are reaching for foolish dreams.
Once again, this highlights the daydream living Mia seems to embody. She’s hopeful for what lies ahead.
Here’s to the hearts that ache… Does Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club have room for two more? But truly, a lot of these images feel like direct callbacks to the original trailer. Returned is Mia’s coffee stained blouse and diminished sense of hope, and Sebastian’s deranged coif. But, there are also two hopeful images in these shots that are directly from the original trailer, as well. One of a perfectly groomed Sebastian getting down on the piano, and one of the returned look of Mia watching from a far. Together the blend into a mix of defeated hopefulness, which might sound like an oxymoron, but bare with me.
Here’s to the mess we make. Could that be a beautiful mess? Because these images seem to capture a life worth living. One thing to note, in the last trailer we see Mia running down the middle of the street (we will see that again later on), but we actually she her face in this scene and it is smiles. This could suggest a reflection on the film, the two-sided love story between Mia and Sebastian. From the bottom two images, it feels like this isn’t the life Mia had envisioned for herself, but Sebastian is providing her with a radiant love that’s worth it.
While Gosling’s trailer showed him humming along on the bridge, Stone’s song is taking place at an audition. Fitting place to tell the story that is surrounding her, and maybe how she is able to take a transition from struggling actress to budding starlet.
A highlight reel of the life Mia is building with Sebastian. But is this what she wants? Or does Mia want to be an actress? From the audition, this feels like there is a building turmoil inside of her. This is the life she wasn’t expecting, and acting is the life she has always dreamed of. Shot out to the little bit of French New Wave feel with the gradient videos of one of their shared moments.
Another direct callback to the original trailer. As I mentioned in Part One, this still feels like the peak of their relationship. Based on the slideshow that happens before this, I see this as the point where they become ships in the night.
I can’t help it, the connection to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is unreal. I feel it though. I feel is so strongly. Also, I have no doubt these two scenes will feature incredible musical and dancing numbers. Will we see Stone dance backwards in high heels? Damn straight. I’m counting on it. We are looping back to the beginning of the song, with dreamers in mind. Here’s to the ones who dream…
The two dreamers. While Stone is captured in the middle of a thought (as seen in the first trailer), Gosling seems to be signing a contract with John Legend‘s character Keith. Again, only formal introduction of a secondary character. To touch back to the first breakdown, I believe we caught a glimpse of Finn Wittrock‘s Greg. I’m now starting to wonder if Sebastian signing a contract with Keith is what pushes Mia away, and into the arms of Greg? Theories exploding everywhere. Whatever comes from this contract, I don’t think it is what Sebastian will want and maybe it will make him feel like it’s the reason he lost everything.
With the city full in bloom, Los Angeles is the bird of the feather that ties them together. Foolish as they may seem…
Taking a pause before uncovering more of the story, here is your introduction of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. While this is a fresh shot of Stone, the one of Gosling is from the theater date in the first trailer. Recall the Rebel Without a Cause. All I have here is that Stone’s white blouse is asking for coffee to be split on it. I’m more making this connection because she seems hopeful and full of life, but in a coffee shop. Does her day become unraveled leading her to let down her hair and call defeat?
I’m still calling it, big Classical Hollywood happy ending. This just feels so perfect and in tune with the music and style and the films it is referencing. The path back to each other after everything has settled. Sebastian has gone back to the musical life he wants, and Mia knows that Sebastian is the one she wants to be with. Here’s to the hearts that ache…
After the big move, this scene reminds us of the somber nature their relationship takes. It has me hot and cold, and I’m here for all of it. Maybe the mess they made from the beginning of the trailer isn’t so beautiful after all. Or maybe this is when they learn that they need to discover what they want and find a way back to the one another.
Another direct callback to the first trailer, Mia is running away and Sebastian standing distraught outside the theater. I wonder, if the clip of Sebastian is following from where he is performing and looks to the crowd with Mia beaming back at him. That fits more in tune with the looks and styling, which feels like that scene will be the demise of the relationship. Here’s to the mess we make.
Ultimately, the trailer ends on another positive note. The two star crossed lovers starring into the depths of each others souls, contemplating what life has in store. Guys, I’m a hopeless romantic, I can’t help but call it as I see it.
While this ending isn’t as passionate as the kiss to end Gosling’s trailer, it is just as emotional. It’s also fools errand to compare apples and oranges. There’s something about Stone’s side of the trailer, something that feels more rewarding. Maybe it is because we feel more of the connection between Mia and Sebastian, and the journey of their love. It isn’t in the beginning stages, it is fleshed out and real. It is beautiful and breathtaking. Where as Gosling’s trailer featured more of the aspect of falling in love, capturing a feeling and not wanting to lose it. This trailer explores the beautiful mess of a relationship, and how it’s worth every moment. The high and low points charmingly intertwined. This is the ode to a true relationship, for the idealistic dreaming souls.
This is Mia’s take on La La Land.