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Film Review: Blinded by the Light

“Bruce Is The Direct Line To All That’s True In This Shitty World…”

Winning the award for least surprising “secret” screening as introduced by your local Cineworld earlier in the month, Blinded by the Light is the type of a-typical, good natured crowd-pleaser which Cineworld members have come to expect in recent times from the sporadic and hotly anticipated hidden previews such a cinema chain bowls out from time to time, with the likes of The Hate U Give and Green Book from previous secret screenings following along the likes of movies which sort of tick all the boxes for a lay audience member without clearly offending anyone in this very multicultural and diverse contemporary society of ours today. Written and directed by Kenyan-born filmmaker, Gurinder Chadha, whose most famous flicks so far include Bend It Like Beckham and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, Blinded by the Light is a similarly independently British romantic comedy drama which just happens to have a central character with a film-selling addiction to The Boss himself, one Mr. Bruce Springsteen, and whilst there are undoubtedly worst addictions to have a film based upon, Chadha’s movie is a wildly inconsistent but passably enjoyable work of fluff which takes its’ Springsteen licensing levels to new extremes.

Utilising big-screen debutant, Viveik Kalra, in the lead role of Javed, and set within the turbulent political and culturally manic period of late 1980’s Britain, Chadha’s movie sees her leading star begin at a familial and social crossroads, with Javed at the centre of a divide between both his overly religious Pakistani family and the racial tensions apparent in the outside world, all of which are hindering his dreams of becoming an important literary voice on the issues of the world in which he lives. Cue an introduction to the back catalogue of New Jersey’s own rock and roll legend, Bruce Springsteen, and soon the musical segments come a-knocking, transforming the movie from a low-key, soap opera, dodgy acting and all, to a full on sing-a-thon gateway, with choreographed set pieces in the ilk of Rocketman all bowing down to the radical words of The Boss as our hero falls in love, impresses Hayley Atwell’s overly-attractive English teacher and then decides to stalk Mr. Springsteen forevermore, all the whilst racist marches take place in the background. With the movie featuring more ideas than it can practically handle, it’s no surprise really that a lack of focus on any result in it being the movie equivalent of Jackson Pollock painting, and even though I’m a sucker in some ways for the joyous celebration of rock music, Chadha’s movie is perfectly fine, but boy is it a mess.

Overall Score: 5/10

Film Review: Yesterday

“See, We Pay And You Write Songs, And Then You Make A Ton Of Money. And Then We Take Most Of It…”

With Danny Boyle being the subject of a very big hoo-hah after departing the much troubled project which is Bond 25, his latest venture in the form of Yesterday couldn’t be further from a tale about a cold-blooded British spy with a penchant for the ladies. Based around a screenplay from Richard Curtis, the acclaimed writing mind behind stalwart Christmas movies including Love Actually and Notting Hill, Boyle’s latest challenges you to hold back all levels of sanctimonious sniffing and imagine a world in which the iconic voice of The Beatles never existed, a movie which features Himesh Patel (Eastenders) in the lead role of Jack Malik, a passionate and wholly unsuccessful singer-songwriter whose only long-term dedicated fan is his manager and close friend, Ellie, as played by Lily James (Baby Driver). After a worldwide blackout, Jack is the victim of a nasty traffic collision and awakens to discover that neither “The White Album” or “Abbey Road” ever existed, resulting in him deciding to rip off the famous words of Lennon and co. in order to stake a claim of fame for himself.

With a central idea which is in itself slightly ludicrous, Boyle has managed to deal with particularly out-there screenplays throughout his career, whether it be the mind-bendingly confused state of a film like Trance or the more down-to-Earth, family friendly Millions, a film with a central idea which in this political climate seems a million miles away, and with a first act which joyously announces all the lead characters, including Jack’s oblivious parents and Joel Fry’s (Game of Thrones) maniacal roadie, Yesterday begins in interesting and heartwarming fashion, particularly when the first chords of famous Beatles tracks are seemingly heard for the very first time by Jack’s close family and friends. As soon as Ed Sheeran turns up however, the film moves from low-key niceties to schlocky, sentimental nonsense, taking the worst parts of Love Actually and turning them up to eleven as the film evolves into a Beatles inspired love-in with added saccharin sweetness whilst seemingly forgetting the greatness of a first act which in all its’ absurdity still managed to feel real, and with a final curtain which made me nearly gag at the sheer audacity of attempting to make everyone grab the nearest tissue, Boyle’s movie is a messy, violently polished work of tosh which just happens to have a great first act which saves the piece from being a total disaster. Plus, they didn’t even mention the best Beatles song; HELTER SKELTER, COMING DOWN FAST!

Overall Score: 6/10

Film Review: Aladdin

“You Stumbled Upon An Opportunity. I Can Make You Rich. Rich Enough To Impress A Princess…”

Acting as the second Disney backed money making exercise of the year so far, with the likes of The Lion King and Lady and the Tramp still to come, Aladdin follows hotly in the footsteps of the critically trashed and solidified box office bomb, Dumbo, by once again “treating” audiences to a live-action “reimagining” of the 1992 animated classic of the same name which to many, is the ultimate Disney adventure thanks to its’ outrageously memorable and Academy Award winning soundtrack and of course, the iconic dulcet tones of the late, great Robin Williams as Genie. With Aladdin circa 2019 therefore, the transition from animation to live action brings in the cinematic enigma that is Guy Ritchie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) as director, a bold and overly baffling decision considering the Brit’s recent back catalogue, and whilst sometimes such clashes bring forth works of brilliance, it comes at no surprise that Ritchie’s take on the animated classic begs the question yet again of why such a remake is necessary in the first place, and whilst Aladdin does feature some interesting and well orchestrated set pieces, all the positive elements seem to be those cherry picked from the original to an uncanny exactness with the tacked on additions only damaging a picture which falls into the same category as Dumbo; absolutely pointless.

With an opening forty minute act which ranks almost as mind numbingly dull as that seen within Dumbo, the screenplay from Ritchie and John August (Dark Shadows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) swiftly introduces us to the main players of the piece, with Mena Massoud (Jack Ryan) handed down the titular lead role as the kind hearted, street rat who soon falls deep in love with the glowing beauty of Naomi Scott’s (Power Rangers) Princess Jasmine, and whilst Scott undoubtedly has talent to burn, singing voice and all, it’s ironically Massoud who nearly sinks the ship completely, with his performance devoid of all charisma or charm and supported by a vocal capacity which challenges Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia! for worst contemporary evidence of on-screen karaoke. With the first act almost sending me to sleep, I almost resorted to prayer at the sight of Will Smith (Bad Boys, Independence Day) as he finally marks his appearance on the big screen, and whilst his own take on Genie is undoubtedly a cross between the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Nicolas Cage after snorting contaminated cocaine in Mandy, the remaining eighty minutes seem to be no longer directed by Ritchie at all, with the film’s choreographer instead enhancing the movie into a pretty fun ride, albeit one seen exactly before in the 1992 version, but with the noose already tightened and added inclusions which really don’t work and only seek to stretch out the already tired runtime, Aladdin is fine but pointless and a remake which just happens to have Will Smith as the clear ace in the pack.

Overall Score: 5/10

Film Review: Rocketman

“There Are Moments In A Rock Star’s Life That Define Who He Is. Where There Is Darkness There Is Now You, And It’s Going To Be A Wild Ride…”

Coming only months after the Academy Award for Best Actor was wrongly handed to Rami Malek for his often caricature laden and mime heavy portrayal of one of rock’s greatest singers in Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of Elton John now finds its’ way onto the big screen within Rocketman, a swear and drug heavy musical biopic which sees Taron Egerton (Robin Hood) take on the leading role for a movie which thankfully shows audiences what a decent biographical drama should look like. Directed by actor-turned-director, Dexter Fletcher, who ironically was handed the mantle of completing Bohemian Rhapsody after original director, Bryan Singer, was sacked for particular unruly pastimes, the London born filmmaker brings to life a joyous, often dazzling, celebration of rock and roll’s most loveable figure, one which blends musical arrangements with a hard-nosed examination of the rough edges of John’s early musical career, and with a whole double sided LP of top notch performances, Rocketman is a thoroughly engaging and satisfying burst of nostalgia which comes ever so close to being a work of excellence.

With Egerton in recent years attempting to throw his once promising career into the garbage with back-to-back works of sheer awfulness in the form of Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Robin Hood, Fletcher reunites with the star after their work together on Eddie the Eagle and allows the young Brit to completely immerse himself in the character of John, a career best performance which perfectly captures the inner insecurities brought on by his sexual ambiguity and non-existent relationship with both his holier-than-thou mother and absent, war-torn father. With the central performance nailed, the screenplay also allows Jamie Bell (Filth) to shine as long-term songwriting compatriot, Bernie Taupin, alongside stand-out supporting roles from the likes of Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) as John’s unbelievably self-obsessed mother, and with the narrative itself played back in almost dream like fashion, this allows the movie to indulge itself in dramatic absurdities as it crosses paths between A Star is Born and La La Land as we are treated to excellently choreographed set pieces which tweak the most famous of John’s back catalogue in order to expand upon his youthful endeavours. Whilst the movie is at least twenty five minutes too long and fails to maintain its’ wondrous sensibility throughout, Rocketman is a lavish and extreme work of musical delirium which will suit both Elton John obsessives and those somehow unaware of his music alike.

 Overall Score: 7/10

Film Review: Vox Lux

“One For The Money, Two For The Show, Three To Get Ready, And Four We Go…”

Directed and written by actor-turned-director, Brady Corbet, Vox Lux sees the American return to the big screen after the critical success of 2015’s, The Childhood of a Leader, for a bizarre, sometimes masterful, ideas-heavy drama which blends a whole catalogue of themes and satirical subtexts around a central narrative which focuses entirely upon the character of Celeste Montgomery, the survivor of a brutal mass shooting at her school at the turn of the twentieth century who soon finds worldwide fame and fortune in the musical industry after the song she writes for her fellow fallen students goes viral. Boldly coined by the marketing team as Black Swan meets A Star is Born, Corbet’s movie does indeed have incidental flashes of familiarity from both, but with its’ own individual identity and a strange and overly knowing holier-than-thou, art-house sensibility, Vox Lux is that type of auterish, pretentious work of boldness which tends to divide both audiences and critics alike, and whilst Corbet’s movie does indeed suffer at times from choosing to rely more on it’s very flashy and expertly designed surface over meaningful plot or characterisation, the American’s second big screen venture is a highly original and memorable work of nonsense which grabbed my attention from the offset and never let go.

Split into two very different narrative halves, the first act of Vox Lux begins with a Sunset Boulevard style voiceover, helmed of course by the dulcet and very familiar tones of Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as we are dropped into the early life of Celeste, as played in younger form by the excellent Raffey Cassidy (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) as we see her attempt to reason with her fellow student who goes through with his plan to carry out a mass school shooting, an opening set piece so expertly and horrifically orchestrated I sat jaw-dropped for a good five minutes through the opening credit roll. As we progress through Celeste’s sudden rise to fame in the pop world, we are introduced to Jude Law’s (Captain Marvel) passionate music manager and Celeste’s close relationship with her older sister, Ellie, as played by Stacey Martin (High Rise) who both play a part in the doe-eyed victim slowly becoming less and less innocent as she opens her eyes to the wider and more glamorous side of the world in which she lives. Cue a significant time jump and the second act of the movie sees Natalie Portman (Black Swan) take on the role as the elder Celeste, a now world famous, significant figurehead in the music industry suffering from a steady blend of alcoholism, narcissism and broken relationships including that of her sister and young daughter, Albertine, also played in excellent fashion once again by the impressive Cassidy. Whilst I understand the commentary regarding the effects of fame and social pressures wholly evident in the film’s second act, Portman’s performance is so vile and infuriating (in a good sense) that come the final act, Corbet’s movie becomes more and more agitating, and whilst I expect that this is undoubtedly the effect Vox Lux attempts to evoke upon the audience, it’s jarring sensibility is both intriguing and detracting, resulting in a movie which is one of the more original works of the year so far, but boy, is it hard work.

Overall Score: 7/10

Film Review: Wild Rose

“I Should Have Been Born In America. I’m An American…”

Boosting into the cinematic spotlight after her critically acclaimed performance in Michael Pearce’s impressive if psychologically testing 2018 drama, Beast, Jessie Buckley returns to the big screen once again with Wild Rose, an independently backed musical drama which sees Buckley as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a recently released low-level convict who returns to her childhood home in Scotland in order to rebuild her relationship with both her stern, judgemental mother and two young children. Directed by London-born filmmaker, Tom Harper, famous so far for his televisual adaptation of War and Peace alongside the 2015 horror sequel, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, Wild Rose throws a spanner in the works by offering much much more than your average British independent drama thanks to an outrageously entertaining central performance from Buckley who continues to impress thanks to a seemingly endless supply of talent, alongside a core narrative which although blends familiar elements taken from the likes of A Star is Born and the little seen gem, Patti Cake$, still manages to present itself as a story definitely worth telling.

Whilst Beast could be regarded as Twin Peaks hits the isle of Jersey, Buckley’s latest leans more on the safer side of independent dramas thanks to a nicely played, if overly familiar, tale of desire and hunger for success within a societal background which doesn’t exactly offer much hope to anyone at anytime. With Buckley’s Rose-Lynn attempting to balance her daily familial strife with her deeply embedded love for country music, not country and western music, the tables soon turn after she is welcomed into the home of Sophie Okonedo’s (Hotel Rwanda) rather easily wooed, Susannah, as a cleaner, with her employer utilising her contacts in the up-market world as a stepping ground for Rose-Lynn to make the most of her clear and enviable talents. With Bradley Cooper’s masterful remake of A Star is Born so fresh in the memory, such excellence does sort of bring Wild Rose back to a level of grounded commonplace rife with a sense of sniffy cliche, but with a couple of half decent tracks present on the soundtrack and the added brilliance of Julie Walters (Harry Potter) in one of the more fleshed out supporting roles, Harper’s latest is undoubtedly no more than a vehicle for Buckley to strut her stuff, but when talent is this exciting and organic, I’m more than happy to be pulled along for the ride.

Overall Score: 7/10

Film Review: A Star Is Born

“Almost Every Single Person Has Told Me They Like The Way I Sounded But Not The Way I Look…”

Synchronising spectacularly with the transformation of cinema across both the twentieth and twenty first century, A Star Is Born, the fourth adaptation of the well versed tale first brought to the screen by William A. Wellman in 1937, sees Bradley Cooper both star and take the director’s seat for the very first time for a contemporary adaptation of the source material which follows Cooper’s (Silver Linings Playbook) alcohol and drug dependant rock and roll star, Jackson Maine, and his discovery of Lady Gaga’s (American Horror Story) equally talented Ally, a live-at-home dreamer whose musical career consists of drag bar shows and refusals from music executives who see her solely from the surface without understanding her true potential. Whilst one familial generation may fondly remember the 1976 version of A Star Is Born starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, another generation may go even further and recall the 1954 remake starring the one and only Judy Garland, and whilst it can be easy to dismiss remakes of classic Hollywood pictures before they even arrive onto the big screen, the fact remains that when done right, contemporary adaptations can explore fresh new ideas and offer the chance for younger audiences to experience a tale that they may have never witnessed before.

In the case of Cooper’s vision of A Star Is Born, the American’s directorial debut is a modern musical masterpiece, a deeply emotional and thoroughly engaging piece of cinema which revels in the passion of the film’s central relationship between a desperate, troubled musical star and the doe-eyed freshness of another who swiftly begins her journey into fame and fortune under the watchful eye of her mentor and lover who soon realises she may just outpace his own success with relative ease. With the first quarter of the movie primarily focusing on Cooper’s Jackson, his constant alcohol abuse and apparent mental health issues caused by a fractured family upbringing results in laboured live performances and the constant need and support from his older brother and father figure, Bobby Maine, as played by the ever magnanimous Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski). As soon as Jackson drunkenly stumbles across the enviable talents of Gaga’s Ally however, the narrative becomes obsessed with portraying the most believable and stunningly acted on-screen romance since Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land, and with Cooper managing to brilliantly balance directing with acting duties, A Star Is Born is the American’s finest on-screen role to date, a performance riddled with inner turmoil and self-loathing which is perfectly balanced by the equally stellar Gaga, who although is not exactly new to the world of acting, with credits most famously on the likes of American Horror Story, gives it her absolute all to a character in which she obviously relates to on a human level, resulting in a performance which is expressed on-screen in, let’s face it, award winning pedigree.

Blending raw, hotly charged emotion with brilliant realism, Cooper’s movie isn’t just happy with portraying the central couple alone, with deep thematic contemplations on the effect of mental health and substance abuse threatening to suffocate both Jackson and Ally as the latter attempts to build her own career out of Jackson’s spotlight, and with a superb level of pacing which lets the characterisation flow and expand freely, Cooper’s understanding of when and where to guide the narrative’s path is truly remarkable for a debutante director. Add into the mix a simply wondrous and immediately catchy soundtrack, with each track seemingly performed fully from the depths of our stars’ heart and soul, the music is enhanced by the insistence from the cast that the tracks be performed live, and with the added brilliance of cinematography from frequent Darren Aronofsky collaborator, Matthew Libatique, the audience becomes transfixed on both the audio and visual splendour as we follow our leading duo travel across the world, from America to the immediately recognisable flag-filled horizon of the Glastonbury crowd, with each performance bearing the same riveting energy which made Straight Outta Compton so gloriously entertaining. With a sombre, heartbreaking conclusion which will result in even the toughest audience member reaching for the nearest pile of tissues, A Star Is Born is everything a remake should be, fresh, invigorating and contemporary, and whilst award buzz is inevitable for everyone involved, Oscar’s are only the start to appreciating how good A Star Is Born really is. Cooper, you’ve done good.

Overall Score: 10/10

Film Review: Coco

“Never Forget How Much Your Family Cares For You…”

With Disney currently monopolising the entire cinematic landscape with the likes of Star Wars, Marvel and live-action adaptations of classic animated tales being released on what seems a bi-monthly basis, one could argue that Pixar has somewhat been backtracked to a much lower priority when placed up against its’ behemoth, franchise existing brothers, yet with the likes of Inside Out and Zootropolis holding the torch of excellence for the studio it recent years, it comes at no surprise that from an audience perspective, the art of animation has arguably never been better. With the release of Coco therefore, Pixar’s hot streak successfully continues with a musically infused, heartbreaking tale of one boy’s quest for ancestral discovery during Mexico’s world famous Day of the Dead festival in a stunningly designed animated fashion. With an underlying narrative which bears more than a similarity to a few Disney Pixar predecessors, Coco thrives in a wide range of areas elsewhere, and with a beautiful acoustic-based soundtrack to make even the sternest of audience members shed a well-hidden tear, Disney’s first release of the year is a well-meaning and pleasantly played family adventure which can be admired and enjoyed by all.

Boasting arguably the most impressive and jaw-droppingly beautiful animation offered up by Pixar so far, Coco revels in its’ ability to add layers and layers of elements both comedic and emotive to prop up a underlying story which undeniably has an uncanny link to Inside Out, with both features primarily focused on their respective leading characters’ journey back home from an uncharted and unknown world, all the while learning a bit more about their purpose in life, but with a handful of stunningly designed props, including sparkling, rainbow coloured spirit animals and on-screen guitar work which relievingly looks genuinely authentic, Coco is much much more than just a continuation of a story many are well versed in already. With a Mexican Mariachi infused, guitar based soundtrack at the centre of the narrative and a genuinely startling twist to set up a rivetingly exciting concluding act, Coco is everything you would expect from a classic Disney outing, and by examining darker themes including the afterlife and the importance of family remembrance, Coco is an ideas laden animation which brings more to the table than one might expect, and for a movie to successfully connect with an audience filled with both adults and children, you can’t really ask for much more. The golden age of animated works joyously continues.

Overall Score: 8/10

Film Review: Sing

“When You’ve Reached Rock Bottom, There’s Only One Way To Go, And That’s Up..!”

As we are all well aware, the golden age of animation is well and truly upon us, with the contemporary battle between Universal and Disney for the right to declare themselves masters of the animated art a mouth-watering proposition, resulting in a wide array of superb movies such as the Minion franchise from Universal and the likes of Inside Out and Zootropolis from those crafty devils up in Disneyland, whilst the likes of films such as Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya prove that gems are being formed from all areas of the globe. Following on from the success of Minions last year, a film which took a staggering one billion plus at the box office, Illumination Entertainment boast an early return with Sing, an animated swing at the tedium of modern-day talent shows featuring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Seth Macfarlane who each lend their voice to an animation which could have been better served by being one of those five minute shorts that precede films that are worthy of being a full-length feature. Sing isn’t necessarily a bad movie in any sense, it’s just a fine example of a film which runs out of steam just under half way through and fails to grasp any effective reason to continue into a staggering 110 minutes of a jukebox style cheese-fest.

Featuring a endless swarm of overplayed chart sewage from the past couple of years or so for the majority of the soundtrack, the film does offer rare snippets of a relieving sense of juxtaposition with half-decent attempts to cover good classic tunes including Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”, but with all the voice talent and Son of Rambow’s Garth Jennings on directorial duty, Sing follows in the footsteps of last years’ The Secret Life of Pets by being a film which ultimately is a resounding disappointment and a movie which completely lacks a punchy and durable narrative amidst semi-laughable set pieces which were used so heavily in trailers and advertisement for the movie. Whilst the plot is somewhat obviously played, Sing suffers too from a rafter of characters which although tick the checkbox in attempting to grab a vivid selection of cultures and societal traits, still resort to singing corporate crap which most of the world is sick and tired of by now and belongs nowhere other than the next version of Now That’s What I Call Music! Forgettable and mediocre, Sing serves to be nothing more than an animated version of season 43 of The X-Factor, just without Simon Cowell’s sarcastic banter.

Overall Score: 4/10

Film Review: La La Land

“I’m Letting Life Hit Me Until It Gets Tired. Then I’ll Hit Back. It’s a Classic Rope-a-Dope…”

The return of director Damien Chazelle this week brings with it a wide range of reasons to rejoice, no more so than remembering just how superb the masterpiece that was Whiplash back in 2015, a film which had the brilliant recognition of landing top of the list for best movies in its’ respective year at Black Ribbon alongside a couple of Academy Awards including a Best Supporting gong for J. K. Simmons who reunites with Chazelle in his latest cinematic venture, La La Land. Going by trailers and other in-your-face modes of advertisement alone, the hype surrounding Chazelle’s latest was unbelievably rapturous to say the least with calls for a shed-load of awards to be swiftly thrown in its’ general direction amongst unanimous rave reviews which concluded with parades of full marks for execution. Where Whiplash was essentially a war movie disguised in the body of a jazz-based drama, La La Land is a full-blown romantic musical, one which is soaked in a wondrously upbeat sense of joy and a rare case of a film which not only lives up to the hype surrounding it but surpasses it two-fold, resulting in an unforgettable cinematic journey which accumulates in you leaving the cinema with a spring in your step, singing and humming the beautiful soundtrack alongside a willingness to see it again as quickly as possible.

Following the intertwining lives of Emma Stone’s ambitious actress Mia and the jazz-infused figure of Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian, La La Land succumbs to the age-old tale of classic musicals by focusing primarily on a relationship gelled together by ambition and dreams, beginning with the first moments in which our leading lovers embrace and eventually concluding in a manner both heartbreaking yet entirely fulfilling. Intertwining the narrative throughout the film are the beautifully written and deliciously choreographed musical routines which although are not as explosive and extravagant as classical cinematic scenes of similar ilk, manage to perfectly suit the overall tone of the movie, with “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme” being the standout track of the soundtrack, a melodic piano piece which accompanies the narrative of their relationship from its’ inception until the end. With Stone arguably stealing the show as the doe-eyed barista, eager to hit the big time in Hollywood, Gosling’s confident yet understated sense of swagger results in a central relationship which oozes chemistry, helped extensively from the pair’s past work in films such as Crazy, Stupid, Love, resulting in a pair of leading characters in which you totally believe in from beginning to end.

Writing a day after the conclusion of the annual Golden Globes awards, it comes at no surprise to see Chazelle’s latest completely sweep the board in a record-breaking bout, with awards for each of the top-billed trio a fitting reward for a movie which in a time of trials and tribulations in terms of the overall world view, reminds you how cinema can allow for a route of escapism in troubled times, particularly a movie as heartwarming as La La Land. If Whiplash was Chazelle’s angry awakening to Hollywood, then La La Land is a commemorative ode to its’ otherworldly appeal, one which embraces the notion of the American dream and a destination where many journey to reach their goals of fame and fortune. In the case of La La Land, Chazelle has found his Citizen Kane, his Singing in the Rain, and after its’ inevitable forthcoming award success, the cinematic spectrum will most certainly become his oyster and as an avid fan, I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Overall Score: 10/10