Apparently the third time's the charm for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. After starring together in Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad, they're wowing audiences in Damien Chazelle's musical La La Land, which has a 95% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what they're saying:
- "A crowd-pleaser if ever there was one," La La Land "does what the movies have all but forgotten how to do—sweep us up into a dream," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. He says Stone and Gosling are "perfection from start to finish" as viewers are treated to "exuberant dance, lovely music, exquisite lighting and fantastical colors, and a succession of tender, funny or heart-stopping encounters."
- "Hollywood doesn't make these kinds of movies anymore," and that's a shame, writes Mara Reinstein at Us Weekly. She agrees Stone and Gosling are "absolutely dazzling" with chemistry that "takes on magical proportions." But "Stone, in particular, is a revelation" and "lights up the screen." Overall, the film is one of those rare ones with "the sheer power to make audiences laugh, weep and feel as if they can float on air."
- James Berardinelli describes La La Land as "a fairy tale" with "a realistic edge." There are "moments of unabashed euphoria but it's never saccharine. That's the key to its appeal—it allows us to dance with the characters but never feels manipulative," he writes at Reel Views. "More vibrant than Chicago" and "more heartfelt than Les Miserables," it's "the best made-for-the-screen musical to reach theaters in a very long time."
- Peter Travers goes a step further. Simply put, it's "sheer perfection" and "the movie of the year," he writes at Rolling Stone. The opening scene is "headed for the cinematic time capsule," but "the passion for cinema and its possibilities radiates from every frame," he says. "You leave exhilarated by Chazelle's nonstop inventiveness, dazzled by the performances of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling … and thrilled that they figured out how to make movies magic again."
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