Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
Plot: Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
According to composer Justin Hurwitz, all the piano performance featured in the film was first recorded by pianist Randy Kerber during pre-production. Ryan Gosling then spent two hours a day, six days a week in piano lessons learning the music by heart. By the time filming had begun, Gosling was able to play all the piano sequences seen in the film without the use of a hand double or CGI.
Emma Watson turned down the role of Mia due to scheduling conflicts with Beauty and the Beast (2017), while Ryan Gosling turned down the role of the Beast in that film to appear in this one. Coincidentally, both are musicals.
The audition scene, where the casting director interrupts Mia's emotional performance to take a phone call, was actually inspired by one of Ryan Gosling's auditions in real life.
Because the director 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. Co-star John Legend--who is a classically trained pianist--says he is "jealous" of how quickly Gosling learned to play so well.
Sebastian's tip about amplifying a car fob's range by holding it under your chin does work, but is not expected to cause cancer. Most fobs use a frequency that resonates well with water, and the human brain is mostly water.
Won seven Golden Globes, more than any other movie ever.
The express lane freeway ramp used for the opening number, Another Day Of Sun, is the same stretch of freeway as used for the iconic "bus jump" sequence from Speed (1994), where a 50-foot section of the ramp was digitally removed using CGI to create the gap the bus must jump over.
La La Land has strong ties to Emma Stone's real-life history. The movie is based in LA, and Mia is discovered as a college dropout actress pursuing her dreams. Emma Stone is actually a school dropout herself, moving to LA at the age of 15 in pursuit of an acting career.
In the first half of the film, writer and director Damien Chazelle's wife, Olivia Hamilton, plays a customer requesting a refund for her pastry in the café.
At one point in the film, Mia mentions to Sebastian how she could have been a lawyer. Emma Stone previously played a law school graduate from Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), co-starring Gosling.
Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz came out with the idea of the film during their senior year at Harvard University in 2010 with Hurwitz writing the musical tracks and Chazelle on dialogue.
The crew had a limited time window of 30 minutes within two days to film the dusky purple twilight Hollywood Hills dance sequence. According to Damien Chazelle, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling managed five takes per day, where after each take, they would go back to the starting point with the assistants wiping their sweat before starting the dance routine again.
Mia's canary-yellow color dress was originally used as stand-by for dance rehearsals, but Emma Stone like it so much that she was permitted to wear it on film.
When Mia gives Sebastian a tour of the Warner backlot, she shows him a window that was used in "Casablanca." Much later, near the end of the movie, when Mia and her husband go into Sebastian's club and he is stunned to see them, it is a clear homage to the famous scene in "Casablanca" when Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henried go to Rick's Café Americain and Bogey is stunned to see Bergman.
Although production was able to film the Griffith Park Observatory interior exhibits, they were not allowed to film in the planetarium, so the planetarium was recreated on a set. The vintage Minolta projector in the center of the planetarium was rented from the Planetarium and Projector Science Museum in Big Bear Lake, California to complete the set.
Towards the end of the film, there is a sign in the painting of Sebastian's fantisized restaurant/club in Paris, with French words enshrined into it. Those words translate to "Chicken on a Stick" which was the original name for the club, which later became "Seb's"
After one of the auditions Emma Stone attends, she mentions the film has a plot similar to "Rebel Without a Cause." One of the most iconic things from "Rebel" is James Dean's red jacket, Emma wears a similar jacket to both the audition and the call back.