OK, confession time – I am not a big fan of movie musicals.
Yes, I can recognise the delightful sweetness of The Wizard of Oz and spent much of my childhood repeatedly watching Grease on video, but I’ve always been more than a little put off by people randomly bursting into song.
However, La La Land arrives in cinemas on the back of a wave of glowing reviews and hoovering up all seven awards it was nominated for at the prestigious Golden Globes – with further success at the Oscars widely tipped.
Knowing this going in, despite my slight musical aversion, my expectations were pretty high – and right from the outrageously impressive opening set on a crowded Los Angeles highway I was hooked.
La La Land is one of those rare movie experiences where it’s impossible not to leave the cinema with a big smile on your face.
It’s another triumph for writer-director Damien Chazelle who follows up Whiplash with a very different musically-themed tale that centres on the developing relationship between Ryan Gosling’s jazz pianist Sebastian and Emma Stone’s aspiring actress Mia.
Stone and Gosling shared phenomenal chemistry in 2011 rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love and the pair are off-the-charts again here in a magical bond worthy of comparison with genre icons Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Any worries over the duo’s ability to carry