La La Land, the new movie that pays tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, is the opening film of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, which runs August 31-September 10.
The new movie musical, which is written and directed by Whiplash’s Damien Chazelle, stars Emma Stone (Cabaret), Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J. K. Simmons (winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash).
La La Land has its world-premiere screening August 31 in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia.
The film has a score of songs co-written by Justin Hurwitz and the Tony-nominated team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story, Dogfight), whose Dear Evan Hansen is scheduled to open on Broadway this season.
Watch the trailer here, which features the song “Audition," with music by Hurwitz and lyrics by Pasek & Paul.
“La La Land is a surprising tribute to the golden age of American [movie] musicals, from An American in Paris by Vincente Minnelli to New York, New York by Martin Scorsese,” Festival director Alberto Barbera said in an earlier statement. “It is a film that does not merely reinvent the musical genre, it gives it a brand new start. If Whiplash was the revelation of a new filmmaker, La La Land is his definitive, albeit precocious, consecration among the great directors of Hollywood’s new firmament.”
Filmmaker Chazelle added, “On behalf of the cast and crew of La La Land, I am both thrilled and honored by the festival’s invitation. It is deeply humbling for us to join the company of their previous opening night films, and we could not be more excited to share our movie with the audience in Venice.”
La La Land is described as “a modern take on the classic Hollywood romance, which is heightened by spectacular song-and-dance numbers, as two dreamers struggle to make ends meet while they pursue their passions in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail piano gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.”
La La Land is produced by Lionsgate in partnership with Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures and Marc Platt Productions. The film will be distributed in the USA by Lionsgate, premiering December 16.
(Updated August 31, 2016)