When I first heard that Damien Chazelle’s third feature film was an original musical I was a mix of both skeptical and ecstatic. Chazelle’s second film Whiplash remains one of my favorite films to have been released during my lifetime, so the bar was certainly high for his next film. I have to admit that I haven’t really been a fan of Ryan Gosling until recently and I loved Emma Stone in Birdman but I still wasn’t sure about her as a leading player. On top of all that this just seemed like the kind of movie that doesn’t get made anymore. I mean, an original musical? Preposterous! Nowadays the taste of film musical lovers like me are satiated by the likes of Into the Woods and Les Miserables which are by no means poorly-made but certainly arrive with a certain lethargy because musical fans know it’ll be bastardized or general audiences just may not accept it. It’s with this in mind that I slowly anticipated the arrival of La La Land throughout this year as a ray of hope for the genre. Not only was I not disappointed, but I was both blown away and left breathless as I left the theater by the breath of fresh air that is La La Land.