In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for La La Land, we look at the key shots that help us understand the film.
- Ryan Gosling – Sebastian “Seb” Wilder
- Emma Stone – Amelia “Mia” Dolan
- John Legend – Keith
- J. K. Simmons – Bill
- Rosemarie DeWitt – Laura Wilder
- Finn Wittrock – Greg
- Callie Hernandez – Tracy
- Sonoya Mizuno – Caitlin
- Jessica Rothe – Alexis
- Tom Everett Scott – David
- Damien Chazelle – Writer and director
Key shots of La La Land
The opening dance number on the freeway
This vibrant and energetic sequence, where people break into song and dance amidst the traffic, sets the tone for the film, blending the ordinary with the extraordinary. It captures the essence of Hollywood as a place where dreams can come to life, while also highlighting the beauty of synchronized choreography and bright colors.
Mia and Sebastian’s first dance in the Griffith Observatory
In this dreamlike shot, the couple dances together, literally floating through the air in the planetarium. The scene symbolizes their blossoming love, as well as their shared dreams and aspirations. The captivating visuals, combined with the enchanting score, create an otherworldly atmosphere that conveys the magic of their connection.
The “City of Stars” musical number
This shot captures the two main characters performing the Oscar-winning song “City of Stars” together. The dimly lit, intimate setting emphasizes the significance of their growing bond and shared passion for their art. The scene is aesthetically pleasing with its warm, golden hues and soft focus, emphasizing the romantic and hopeful nature of their dreams.
Mia’s audition scene
In this shot, Mia performs a powerful and heartfelt monologue, demonstrating her talent and determination to succeed as an actress. The close-up of her face allows the audience to connect with her emotions and understand the depth of her passion. The simplicity of the shot, with minimal distractions, draws the viewer’s attention to Mia’s performance, making it a visually striking and emotionally resonant moment.
The epilogue montage
In this sequence, we see an alternate version of Mia and Sebastian’s life together, illustrating what could have been if their dreams and ambitions hadn’t led them down separate paths. The use of vibrant colors, smooth transitions, and creative visual storytelling emphasizes the bittersweet nature of their love story. The montage is a testament to the power of dreams and the sacrifices one must make in pursuit of them, while also being visually stunning and emotionally charged.
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