My wife and I spent New Year’s Eve with a musical double feature of La La Land and Sing. And it was a great night out at the movies.
La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as a pair of Angelinos trying to make it in Hollywood. She’s a struggling actress getting beaten down by the audition process and he’s a piano player unable to compromise his musical purity. Through song and dance numbers, the two encourage each other to continue pursuing their dreams. Somehow the movie is realistic and magical at the same time. It’s sad and uplifting. It’s innovative while paying homage to classic musicals like West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Swing Time, An American in Paris, and Singin’ in the Rain. I think it might be perfect.
Sing, the new animated musical from Illumination Entertainment (the studio that brought you those little yellow Minions), stars the voice of Matthew McConaughey as a down-on-his-luck koala who orchestrates a singing competition as a last ditch effort to save his failing theater. Each of the contestants has a problem to overcome. A young elephant is too shy to let her talent shine. A housewife pig needs to get her groove back. A teenage porcupine can’t recognize her own worth. And a gorilla is unable to escape the path prepared for him by his criminal father.
The music in both of the movies is terrific. If you’re into jazz and traditional show tunes, try streaming the La La Land soundtrack at Hoopla. Fans of contemporary pop music will probably prefer the Sing soundtrack.