La La Land Themes | GradeSaver (2022)

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Duality is important in La La Land. The first time we see Sebastian, what we actually see is his reflection in the car mirror. And when we meet Mia for the first time, we think she is on a phone call. She isn't at all—she's just practicing for a role. And so each of our main characters first appears in a different aspect than their "true" self. Mirrors feature repeatedly in the film. The first time we see Mia hum her way into what would presumably be a first solo song, had her housemate not interrupted her, she is looking at herself in the bathroom mirror. Perhaps one could argue that Mia and Sebastian both contain dream selves, or selves who are propelled to reach their dreams, and these selves live alongside their day-to-day realities: serving coffee, getting stuck in traffic and even falling in love. Eventually the tension between these two selves becomes too much for the individual to bear.

The film sometimes suggests a destiny that we can't see. In "City of Stars," Mia and Sebastian sing "City of stars, are you shining just for me? City of stars, there's so much that I can't see. Who knows?" Even though the stars seems to shine brightly for them on that night, the opening lyrics points to a deeper knowledge: that they fundamentally don't know what they can't see.

And so it makes sense that these star-crossed lovers should part by the end. Their dual selves could only travel together for so long; finally the life they share—between their everyday selves—is torn apart up by the force of their bigger, individual dreams.

The film is set in L.A., where a lot of time is spent in the car. The prevalence of cars is more than just realism. When we first meet our protagonists, they are stuck in a very long traffic jam—as they are, symbolically, in their own lives. At this stage, to reach their dreams, there is still a long distance to travel. And when Mia goes to the party with her housemates early on in the film, losing her car seems to point to a larger truth that she doesn't yet have the vehicle to get her journey started.

Once Sebastian and Mia meet, the road seems clearer. Sebastian walks Mia to her car and helps her to find it by telling her to hold her keys under her chin. He is literally and metaphorically helping her to find her way on her journey. When 'Summer' opens and Mia is writing her one woman show, we see her jump into the car with Sebastian and race off. She's on the right track. However, it is equally significant to point out that just after racing off and turning right, out of shot, Sebastian has to reverse down the one-way street. And so this car journey suggests that the road isn't as straightforward for Mia and Sebastian as we might, at this point, have thought.

(Video) La La Land - Full OST / Soundtrack (HQ)

It makes sense that Mia and Sebastian struggle to find and clearly express their own identities. L.A. is a fast moving world and in order to be seen you have to get peoples' attention. But people tend not to pay attention when you're expressing what's really going on inside—which is often not so clear or instantly attractive. Mia's very first audition in the film is disappointing for that very reason. She's doing an emotional piece and is really "going there," but no one in the room seems to value what she's doing; she's interrupted for a phone message.

And so it is significant that Mia pushes Sebastian to call his club Seb's instead of 'Chicken on a Stick'. It seems that she wants him to take ownership of the club he dreams of having, to let go of the past and start anew, as himself. In the same way, it is interesting that Mia finally achieves success when she writes her own material. It's by speaking her own words in her own voice that she is able to connect with who she really is and what she wants.

Although the two characters hold dear the influence each has had on the other, in order to fully realize their own identities, they must let go of what's gone before: whether that be Charlie Parker, Ingrid Bergman, or, in fact, each other.

Although Sebastian and Mia's relationship is at the heart of La La Land, the most significant romance in the film is the romance they each have with their dreams. By the end of the film, it is a difficult and moving realization for both of them that their paths took them in different directions.

And because the story follows Mia's dream more conclusively, the romance must also be with L.A. and its movie making history. Much of the film is shot on location in L.A. and celebrates so many aspects of the city, from its traffic jams full of people chasing dreams to its pool parties, jazz clubs and vistas. It's where the Hollywood greats of the past made their work and drank coffee.

And so, perhaps it makes sense that Mia and Sebastian start their romance with each other tentatively—not wanting to accept that there's any chemistry between them. Maybe somewhere they know that they have little control over whether their romance will last forever. The romance they have with their dreams, though, can go on and on.

(Video) La La Land Soundtrack - Epilogue (Justin Hurwitz)

The film nods to the classic era of Hollywood film, where musical numbers were big and fantastical—heightened spectacles, that came out of a character or characters' necessity to express their feelings. La La Land indulges the escapist past, and the film is littered with nods to that great Hollywood time: the film announces that it's shot in CinemaScope, a huge poster of Bergman adorns Mia's wall, and Mia and Sebastian spend their first date at Rebel Without a Cause.

Within the film itself there is also nostalgia for a lost time. Sebastian is infuriated that jazz as he knows and loves it is dying. This is why he initially rejects Keith's offer to join his band—because he doesn't want to be a part of anything that dilutes the tradition. Commenting that his favorite old jazz club, the Van Beek, is now a samba-tapas joint, Sebastian muses that the "joke's on history." He wants to revive jazz by setting up his own club, in a style true to the old greats.

Mia worries that her one-woman show is "really nostalgic." Sebastian quickly responds: "that's the point." The film celebrates the act of reveling in the past.

And of course the film ends on a note of nostalgia, when Mia and Sebastian look and smile at each other at his club, Seb's. We already know that Mia is wondering what could have been—we've seen her retrace the past with Sebastian in the role of lover and then husband.

Where do our protagonists feel at home in La La Land? Mia lives in many different places over the course of the film. First she shares a house with three housemates, then she lives with Sebastian in his apartment, then briefly moves back to her parents' house in Boulder City, and finally we see her in her own house, with her husband and daughter. But home seems to be the place where Mia's dreams are protected. In fact, after her one-woman show, discouraged and disappointed, she rejects the home she shares with Sebastian. She talks of going home to her parents. The shift here is obvious, particularly to Sebastian, who simply answers "but this is home." It was home while she was encouraged by him, while she was inspired to write material to help her reach her dream—but not anymore. Not after she starts to lose faith in her dreams, not after Sebastian doesn't show up to see her perform.

Sebastian is so focused on his dreams when we first meet him that he's failed to provide himself with a home. Pointing out all the unpacked boxes, Sebastian's sister Laura muses "do you think mom or dad would call this a home?" The point is that Sebastian's home is in his dreams—the boxes will be unpacked when they are unpacked in his club, when he "gets home."

(Video) La La Land Soundtrack

And so, although the lovers find a temporary home with each other, neither lands home until their dreams are realized; home is in themselves, in the people they want to be. And so by the end it is moving for them to share that glance and smile with each other—acknowledging the home they left behind, they then move on again to their separate homes, on their separate individual paths.

An important theme in the film is the interconnection and larger patterns that shape life. Even though Mia and Sebastian are individuals with their own particular dreams, love, hopes and fears, there are greater patterns at work, and their lives are just two of many.

The film begins with a traffic jam, and Mia finds herself in a similar traffic jam at the end of the film. Despite the journey we've been on with Mia and Sebastian by the end of the film, L.A. is unchanged - there are still people chasing their dreams and trying to get where they're going on the freeway. Life moves on and repeats its patterns; it's just the individuals that change. Of course we also see Mia at the start of the film as a barista in a coffee shop—the same one she goes into at the end, as a customer. And presumably some day the barista who serves her will one day move on and be replaced too.

It is also thus significant that Mia and Sebastian retrace the steps of the actors in Rebel Without a Cause. It is their particular romance that we are watching, but their paths have been trodden before, and—it is suggested—will be trodden again.

The structure of the film also reflects this circularity. We start with winter and roll all the way back to winter again. Whatever is going on for Sebastian and Mia, the seasons are constant and keep moving, whatever the weather.

FAQs

What is the main theme of La La Land? ›

Clearly, “La La Land” is more than just its plot — Chazelle tells Mia and Sebastian's story, with its themes of dreams, reality, relationships, facades, and sacrifice, by manipulating colors, lighting, camera direction, and music. In fact, it is Chazelle's creative storytelling that makes the film excel.

What is the meaning behind La La Land? ›

: the mental state of someone who is not aware of what is really happening — usually used in the phrase in la-la land. I tried to talk to him, but he was off in la-la land. If that's what she thinks, she's living in la-la land.

Is La La Land ok for 12 year old? ›

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This musical about two artists falling in love in Los Angeles has some kissing, unmarried characters living together, some drinking, and one use of the f-word and some rude gestures.

Does La La Land have inappropriate scenes? ›

La La Land is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some language. Violence: Heated discussions occur between cohabitating man and woman. A driver makes a crude finger gesture to another driver. Some other scenes depict verbal conflict over business and work issues.

What does green represent in La La Land? ›

The downfall of their relationship is surrounded in green: jealousy, mistrust, a twisted variant of the purple we love. The color in “La La Land” comes to a head throughout the final fantasy sequence.

Why did Sebastian and Mia break up? ›

Mia and Sebastian went their separate ways because they both pursued what they thought was right for their own lives and each other's. Maybe if they'd stayed together they would've been bitter about never having the chance to reach their potential.

Was La La Land all a dream? ›

It's all a dream, and it is beautiful, but it's also momentary. It lasts for the duration of the right song. That point of view informs "La La Land'"s bold, counter-intuitive vision of the movie musical, in which reality is dreary and imperfect.

Is La La Land a happy ending? ›

The films follows their love story alongside their aspirations in the city of dreams. However, while the film ends with both achieving career success – Mia has become a full-blown star and Sebastian has opened a Jazz bar – they break up, with Mia having a family of her own now.

Did Mia cheat in La La Land? ›

His one dream in his life was to have a jazz club and he named it after someone he truly cared about. In the final scene, Mia's fantasy, further reveals how unfaithful she is to the person she's with, no matter how strong of a bond they seem to have.

Is Dear Evan Hansen inappropriate? ›

The Dear Evan Hansen movie is rated PG-13 for “some suggestive references, brief strong language, suicide, thematic material.” Big red flags going up yet?

Will there be a La La Land 2? ›

The movie will now open in limited cinemas on December 25, 2022, followed by a widescale theatrical release on January 6, 2023. The film was initially scheduled to release on Christmas 2021, with production plans to begin in July 2020.

Can Ryan Gosling actually play piano? ›

Ryan Gosling stars in it as a jazz musician and plays all the piano music on screen after intensive training.

Why is La La Land rated R? ›

Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language. Kids around 13 and older should be OK watching this latest installment in the Bourne franchise. It's really too much to handle for anyone younger than that. It's actually amazing this got a PG-13 rating.

Is La La Land safe to watch? ›

It is not okay for parents to disallow their children to see this movie because it has language in it. The language is not pervasive nor present for a vast majority of the movie and focuses on themes of pursuing a dream, having relationships, and why the relationships end between characters with great chemistry.

Why is her rated R? ›

Her is rated R by the MPAA for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity. This additional information about the movie's content is taken from the notes of various Canadian Film Classification boards: Sexual Content: - Sexual references and innuendo.

What does blue symbolize in La La Land? ›

BLUE - Creativity, Control & Classical Hollywood

Blue is a colour used excessively in 'La La Land', and has connotations to creativity and control, as well as symbolising the fantasy of 'Classical Hollywood' that aspiring actors and actresses dream of becoming a part of.

What does yellow symbolize in La La Land? ›

When you see yellow in La La Land it normally means there's change ahead. Despite being one of the first colors we see in the technicolor dance sequence that opens the film, it's not a color we see very often in the first part of the movie – why would it be?

What is color theory in film? ›

In filmmaking, color theory refers to the notion that certain hues on the color wheel combine to create particular visual effects. A director's use of color combinations can evoke a mood or atmosphere within the world of a film.

Did Mia betray Sebastian? ›

At the end of the film, Sebastian is able to own his own jazz club, while Mia lands a starring role in a Paris-filmed project that jump starts her acting career. While making their dreams come true, both Mia and Sebastian go their separate ways and never rekindle the romance they shared.

Who is Mia's husband in La La Land? ›

Mia wrote a one-woman play named So Long Boulder City. She dates Greg at the beginning of the movie until she breaks up with him to date Sebastian Wilder, an aspiring jazz music player who helps her achieve her acting dream. Eventually, she marries a man whose name is David.

Are Mia and Sebastian star crossed lovers? ›

A split-screen montage of life and art.

It's a complete refusal of the film's events until then, one that turns Los Angeles into a dream factory where Mia's climb to creative success isn't impeded or hindered, and neither is her relationship with Sebastian.

What happened to Mia's aunt in La La Land? ›

During the audition, Mia is asked simply to tell a story. In response, she sings about how her aunt, a former stage actress who eventually died from alcoholism, inspired her to chase her dreams.

What's the ending of La La Land? ›

As Sebastian finishes his piece and Mia stands to leave, the two share a brief parting smile. After their shared moment, they divert their attention away from each other, and the movie concludes with a nostalgia-inducing flourish.

What is another word for La La Land? ›

What is another word for la-la land?
dreamlandfairyland
paradisecloud-cuckoo-land
Edenfantasy
heavenillusion
cloudlandShangri-La
75 more rows

Do Mia and Sebastian stay together? ›

At the end of the film, Sebastian played by Ryan Gosling successfully manages to open his own Jazz music club, whereas Mia played by Emma Stone becomes the actor she always aspired to be. After going their separate ways, Mia finally makes her way to Seb's Jazz club with her now-husband.

What time period is La La Land? ›

While the paintings and décor around the coffee shop allude to a 60s atmosphere, the Square Stand... [+] Thus, the magic of La La Land is that it transports viewers to a timeless era—one that's so convincingly vintage-Hollywood that we often forget the story takes place in the 21st century.

Who is Emma Stone husband? ›

After a leading role in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac (2018), she reduced her workload, starring in the sequel Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) and the crime comedy Cruella (2021). Stone is married to comedian and writer Dave McCary, with whom she has a daughter.

Did Emma Watson turn down La La Land? ›

Those in the movie industry know that making a film is often a long and arduous process. La La Land was certainly no exception. Though the film ended up being a critical success, there were actually periods of time when the movie wasn't going to see the light of day.

What did Emma Watson turn down for Beauty and the Beast? ›

While speaking at a SiriusXM Town Hall, she explained she turned down the movie because "Beauty and the Beast" was coming to fruition. "I knew I had horse training, I knew I had dancing, I knew I had three months of singing ahead of me, and I knew I had to be in London to really do that," she said (via PopSugar).

Who turned down La La Land? ›

From Emma Watson Refusing La La Land To Gwyneth Paltrow Turning Down Titanic, 4 Times Top Hollywood Actress Rejected Iconic Roles & We Are Sure They Regretted Later.

What disorder does Evan Hansen have? ›

Adapted from the 2016 Broadway musical of the same name, “Dear Evan Hansen” is a coming-of-age musical teen drama focusing on Evan Hansen (Ben Platt), a high school senior struggling with social anxiety disorder.

Is 12 Year Old appropriate? ›

Great film, but not for kids under 13

I recommend this film to everyone who loves slightly disturbing films and TV shows like me but for anyone under the age of 13 you really should not watch it. It's very gory and contains adult language.

Is Dear Evan Hansen ok for a 13 year old? ›

We get to know a lot more about Connor, and we even see chapters from his point of view. However, this story should be read by mature 14 year olds, maybe 13 and up. There are a couple of innuendos, a lot of references to drugs and smoking, and a lot of cursing.

Why is La La Land so famous? ›

There are musical numbers in La La Land, but this is also a credible showbiz saga (it should go without saying that this movie nails Los Angeles), a witty and nimble comedy, and a romantic melodrama. La La Land has a much smarter and richer screenplay than most of the musicals its critics are looking to judge it by.

Does Emma Stone like Ryan Gosling? ›

"I can't even imagine what my life would be without Ryan," Emma Stone said about her "dear, wonderful friend" Ryan Gosling during a Q&A at the 45th Annual Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado in September 2018.

How much did Emma Stone make for La La Land? ›

Emma Stone earned a hefty US$26 million for her Oscar-loving La La Land (2016) after back end deals.

Did Emma Stone actually sing in La La Land? ›

Emma Stone sang the song 'The Fools Who Dream' in one of the iconic scenes in 'La La Land' and a snippet from the same went immensely viral.

Is the sunset in La La Land real? ›

And because the producers wanted to film the scene during the actual sunset/twilight moment, they had very little time in which to shoot each day before the sunset faded and they lost the light. They finally got it right on the very last take of the third day of trying.

Did Ryan Reynolds actually play the piano in La La Land? ›

Because Damien Chazelle wanted to shoot the scene in the tradition of old musicals without cuts or editing, Ryan Gosling practiced playing the piano and played it himself in one take on his first day of shooting.

What age rating is Mamma Mia? ›

The MPAA rated Mamma Mia! PG-13 The MPAA has rated Mamma Mia! PG-13 for some sex-related comments.

What age rating is the notebook? ›

The MPAA rated The Notebook PG-13 for some sexuality.

Is 500 Days of Summer Family Friendly? ›

Parents need to know that (500) Days of Summer is a smart romantic dramedy that's age-appropriate for teens and up, but its thoughtful exploration of relationships may speak more to those in college and older.

Is La La Land good for kids? ›

'La La Land' is definitely a movie of three parts. The first Act is mostly bursting into song and big dance numbers which should be lots of fun for children.

Can a 17 year old see an R rated movie? ›

You must be at least 17 with a photo ID, which includes your birth date, to purchase a ticket for yourself for an R rated movie. If you are under 17, or do not have a photo ID, your parent must come to the theatre to purchase your ticket for an R rated movie.

What age is R rating? ›

Restricted: R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

Is my girl okay for kids? ›

Good family movie with good life lessons but probably too unsettling for under 11. This is a good family movie for parents with kids who are pre-teens. The language is typical PG one or two s-words, one GD and a couple hells and damns.

Is La La Land happy or sad? ›

It's Sad. If you're looking for La La Land's easiest interpretation of the ending, you could say that it's sad as all get out. We spend an entire film rooting for Mia and Sebastian to make their dreams come true and wind up together, and every song brings us closer to the heartbreak that is the ending of this film.

Will there be a La La Land 2? ›

The movie will now open in limited cinemas on December 25, 2022, followed by a widescale theatrical release on January 6, 2023. The film was initially scheduled to release on Christmas 2021, with production plans to begin in July 2020.

Did La La Land win best picture? ›

They saw what happened and scrambled to document the unprecedented, unfolding mess-up. Here's what they reported: Oscar got it wrong, wrong, soooo wrong. The presenters announced the wrong best picture; Moonlight was the winner, not La La Land.

How much did Emma Stone make for La La Land? ›

Emma Stone earned a hefty US$26 million for her Oscar-loving La La Land (2016) after back end deals.

Was La La Land all a dream? ›

It's all a dream, and it is beautiful, but it's also momentary. It lasts for the duration of the right song. That point of view informs "La La Land'"s bold, counter-intuitive vision of the movie musical, in which reality is dreary and imperfect.

Did MIA cheat in La La Land? ›

His one dream in his life was to have a jazz club and he named it after someone he truly cared about. In the final scene, Mia's fantasy, further reveals how unfaithful she is to the person she's with, no matter how strong of a bond they seem to have.

Is La La Land a good ending? ›

The films follows their love story alongside their aspirations in the city of dreams. However, while the film ends with both achieving career success – Mia has become a full-blown star and Sebastian has opened a Jazz bar – they break up, with Mia having a family of her own now.

Do MIA and SEB love each other? ›

Both have big dreams but are struggling to make it in Hollywood. Over a song-and-dance-filled two hours, Sebastian and Mia meet and fall in love. While they fight and reconcile, ultimately they don't end up together.

Why is La La Land so famous? ›

There are musical numbers in La La Land, but this is also a credible showbiz saga (it should go without saying that this movie nails Los Angeles), a witty and nimble comedy, and a romantic melodrama. La La Land has a much smarter and richer screenplay than most of the musicals its critics are looking to judge it by.

Does Emma Stone like Ryan Gosling? ›

"I can't even imagine what my life would be without Ryan," Emma Stone said about her "dear, wonderful friend" Ryan Gosling during a Q&A at the 45th Annual Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado in September 2018.

Which movie won the most Oscars in history? ›

Which film has won the most Oscars of all time? Three films hold the record of winning the most Academy Awards, having garnered 11 Oscars each: Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Out of these, Titanic received the most nods with a total of 14 nominations.

How did La La Land get announced by mistake? ›

On stage, “La La Land” producers were approached by a man wearing a headset and holding an envelope. Platt called producer Fred Berger to the mic next. As Berger began speaking, Beatty started heading to the mic, but Berger beat him to the announcement. “We lost, by the way, but, you know…” he said.

Can Ryan Gosling really play piano? ›

Ryan Gosling stars in it as a jazz musician and plays all the piano music on screen after intensive training.

Who is lowest paid actor? ›

1. Jonah Hill. Jonah Hill voluntary accepted the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) minimum salary just so he could work with director Martin Scorsese. Hill told The Howard Stern Show he jumped at the chance to film for seven months on a thin $60,000 salary claiming, “They gave me the lowest amount of money possible.

Who is the most expensive actress? ›

Scarlett Johansson's Net Worth as the Highest-Paid Actress in the World. Scarlett Johansson, who starred in Marvel's Black Widow, has quadrupled her net worth from 2017 to 2022, surpassing many other notable celebrities.

Videos

1. [1 hour] Mia & Sebastian’s Theme La La Land piano cover by PianiCast
(Fluersnt)
2. LA LA LAND - Mia and Seb's Theme/Epilogue \\ Synthesia Piano Tutorial
(Jacob's Piano)
3. Mia & Sebastian’s Theme
(Justin Hurwitz - Topic)
4. LoLa & HAUSER - Mia & Sebastian’s Theme (La La Land)
(HAUSER)
5. FSO - La La Land - "Epilogue" (Justin Hurwitz)
(filmsymphony)
6. Another Day of Sun - La La Land Opening Scene
(ScreenWeek TV | Trailer e News sui Film al Cinema)

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