Writing an English Film Review of La La Land: A Student’s Guide

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Frustrated Student Writing

Oscar winning films have always attracted much publicity among critics as well as the general public. So, it is very likely that your teacher has seen this movie and will like to pick your brains about it. Schools and colleges very often experiment with such assignments to test student’s creativity and ability to derive meaningful messages from such a familiar part of their daily entertainment. You may feel confused and even frustrated having to write a review on something so innocuous. No reason to fret! Our writing team is always there for you. Here are some helpful tips that will help you boost your grade and make your teacher happy about your writing skills.

We have chosen “La La Land” not only because of its overall popularity and critical acclaim. As you will discover further, this movie not only breaks the conventions of a traditional love story, but also communicates important ideas that can definitely help you cope at the start of your professional life. Regardless of whether you are a university student, or still in school, you probably have your own dreams and aspirations just like the main heroes of the La La Land movie. We assure you that this movie will leave you inspired to shoot further for your goals.

So, tell us what’s the best way to learn writing than to write about something that is meaningful for you personally.

The Essentials

It is very common for students to be stuck at the very beginning. Everybody has once found themselves staring at the blank page afraid to write something wrong. However, just remember about the essentials. Even if you do not feel particularly creative at the moment, there are always some facts about the movie that you can mention. The title, the director’s name, the topic and the release date – just to name the few. The key is just to start writing. You will feel much better having laid the groundwork for your review.

For example, our movie was released in 2016 by the director Damien Chazelle; it revolves around the story of two creative and aspiring lovers who came to Los Angeles to pursue their career goals. See, this is something. This will set you on the path of further exploring the main themes of the movie. We would recommend you to single out at least three most relevant ideas that you feel you can comment upon in a profound and, of course, personal manner. Make sure to include them in your introductory paragraph. These key points will guide you through the maze of your thoughts.

Still, do not feel trapped by those ideas and the structure you have chosen. The essentials are, well, essential, but it is your creativity and an original approach that most good teachers so ardently crave. If you feel like your initial considerations lead you nowhere, do not fear the change of the course. Guide your writing, do not let your writing guide you in the deadlock.

The Summary

After you have the foundation, it’s high time to add some bricks to your beautiful film review building. Those metaphorical bricks are the elements of the plot that give the reader a sense of the characters’ motivations and, of course, the general ideas of the film. However, do not reveal the final outcome! Just imagine how frustrated you would feel if you were to read a review to decide whether to watch a movie or not, and in the process found out how it ended. Do not be selfish; give your readers a chance to experience the whole spectrum of emotions the movie offers.

Show just the exterior of the building. For example, talking about La La Land, you may mention the fact that Mia, the main heroine, was a young actress who was often denied roles, and Sebastian - a piano/jazz lover who bemoaned the decay in jazz music quality and popularity. You may even mention that both of them fall in love and move together, however, not abandoning their dreams and helping each other along the way. How does their story end? – you would ask. Ha, we did pick your interest! However, being real film review professionals, we would stop at this point. The interior is always there for you to admire; the movie is just a couple clicks away.

The main point is – be laconic in your movie description. Shakespeare said once that brevity was the soul of wit. We would say that brevity in a film review is one of the indications of the writing proficiency.

The Body

After you hooked your reader with the story outline and presented the film essentials, it is time you guide them through your own impressions about the movie. This is the core of your film review, its most juicy part. Make sure, it has a particular flavor.

Just like the building is bleak without decorations, your film review is unimpressive without your own thoughts and ideas. It is, however, not enough to attribute a subjective quality to a given movie. Do not just say, the movie was dull, or the movie was exciting. Be ready to expound upon your opinions using your critical thinking skills. For example, when La La Land was first released, it stirred a great deal of controversy mostly due to its alleged white washing of jazz, which is traditionally a black music genre. Moreover, many critics reprimanded the movie’s adherence to the old school Hollywood forms which is notable in the choice of music, scenes and even actors. Conversely, you may praise the movie for its unconventional approach to the love story arc, or the overall delightful atmosphere which distracts the viewer from the everyday worries. In any case, it is a matter of your perception; use your heart to guide you through it.

Do not be rude. Explain your opinions. There is no need to pick sides – even if you did not enjoy the movie, you may still talk about its positive moments.

Out of Ideas?

 Well… maybe, it’s time for a finishing touch. A conclusion is basically your review wrapped in a small box preferably with a bow on top. We realize it is hard to stuff everything that you just penned down in a short paragraph. However, just imagine how confusing your opus may be for a reader who didn’t have a clue about the movie before stumbling upon your review. A few summarizing sentences can go a long way in helping form an overarching idea about the film.

La La Land’s message is powerful for those aspiring and talented novices seeking to find their niche in a highly competitive and often indifferent world. We believe it is a great movie for those of you struggling to succeed; for those of you recovering after failures; for those of you having a hard time writing film reviews.

Still, you do not have to share this opinion. You may despise this movie, and this is your right. We are here to teach you how to write such a film review that will truly stick with the reader. A film review that will make your professor proud of your writing skills.

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