January 16, 2017

Lost reviews Part 1: La La Land and Manchester By The Sea

It wasn't until a friend commented on my review of Jackie asking about two movies I had already reviewed did I realize that those posts didn't publish. (That's what I get for trying something new with the scheduling app) Instead of publishing four separate reviews I'm condensing them into two posts.  Today I'll share my thoughts on the first two I saw La La Land and Manchester By The Sea.
La La Land
As a family we were hoping to see La La Land on Christmas but it wasn't playing in our area until the following weekend.  Hubby and I saw it on New Years Day and I can't think of a better choice to kick off 2017.  This movie was fun.  It was entertainment purely for entertainment's sake.  I was reminded of the old Road Shows movies that Bob Hope and Bing Crosby used to make.  While the music was great that wasn't why you were at the theater.  You knew you were going to smile, maybe cry a little, and definitely laugh.  
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are not anywhere near the top of my list of people I would tap for a musical and I think that's what made it truly work.  While I don't foresee either going on a concert tour anytime soon they definitely held their own.  Sadly the loudest complaints about their performances have come from music "professionals"  and while I understand some of their criticisms I think they completely missed what this picture was about.  Had great voices like James Mardsen or Lea Michele been cast I think the music would have had more of a starring role than supportive.  While I enjoyed the music I'm not going to buy a soundtrack; and going back to my previous point I doubt any of the Road Shows had one either.  
Could there have been more diversity? Yes  
Was it a bit flashy? Yes 
Was it perfect? NO  
Did I thoroughly enjoy myself? Yes!!! 
While I anxiously await Wicked coming on to a big screen (December 2019 is the buzz) I hope that along the way more fun, don't need to make a statement about life musicals come along.
4.5/5 Crowns 
Manchester By The Sea
I don't cry at movies. Call me cold-hearted but I just don't.  Three times I wiped away tears during Manchester.  It isn't that often that pure anguish is so craftly displayed. This is a movie about loss.  Not someone died and move on loss but deep un-healing grief.
  Casey Affleck is Lee Chandler a man whose grief is so overbearing he moves away to avoid dealing with it and the daily reminders his hometown holds.  His brother's death means returning and trying to keep his past pain submerged. His ex-wife played by Michele Williams has remarried but still needs Lee, loves Lee yet Lee can't accept the healing she's offering.  Unaware that his brother made arrangements for him to become the guardian of his son Patrick, Lee is faced with living back home permanently.  Unsure how he himself is getting through life his relationship with his grieving nephew doesn't know where to turn for help.
The back story on this is that Matt Damon was originally involved but conflicts with Martian had him bow out.  Great break for Casey who is expected to win the Oscar.  I believe Michele has earned the nomination for Supporting Actress (her fourth) and would win if not for Viola in Fences (see that review tomorrow)
5/5 Crowns
I did warn you about crying 
Tomorrow I'l post the other two missed reviews:
Fences and Hidden Figures
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