Musical gets chorus of approval at Toronto film fest
WHILE intense dramas and true-life stories have dominated this year's Toronto International Film Festival, a vibrant love story inspired by the golden age of Hollywood musicals has found a warm welcome.
La La Land, a musical contemporary tale of star-crossed lovers chasing their dreams in Hollywood and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, received a standing ovation at its premiere on Tuesday night.
"It's a great story and they're great engaging characters and the music kind of aids in that," Gosling, who plays a tortured jazz pianist, told Reuters on the red carpet.
He added that he did not think viewers had to like musicals to enjoy the film.
Stone, who plays an aspiring actress, said: "I learnt to tap and ballroom dance and sing live on camera, which was pretty insane."
La La Land is the second feature film from writer-director Damien Chazelle, 31.
His first film Whiplash, an intense study of a jazz drummer's quest to perfection, won three Oscars.
"I wanted to do a musical but really ground it in real life and invest it with stuff that felt messier and real," Chazelle said after the screening.
La La Land has already been drumming up awards buzz. Critics have praised the performances and the intricate, colourful, love letter to a bygone era of movies.