So, the first time I had watched this was on a plane, on my way to Australia. I fell asleep. Was it boring at the time? Maybe. Was I too tired to finish watching? Most probably. And to be honest it really did not engage me at the beginning. Sure it was fun and there was singing, but I was not hooked. The reason may have been the viewing environment. Watching an Oscar almost-winning film on a plane, squashed against other passengers on a tiny screen is definitely not my favorite way to watch any film, unless I have seen it previously.
Fast forward to last night where I had the pleasure to view this film in an old theater, with old seats, an old smell, and on a screen closed in by curtains. Fantastic! This was absolutely the perfect atmosphere to watch this film and it did not disappoint. I felt like I was transported back into the early ages of film and with the curtain drawn back, a grand spectacle. From the opening of the film to the closing of the credits there was a story told with immense creativity and drive. The songs were great and seemed to come from a simple yet emotional place. They were relatable, to the point it seemed it was mirroring what most young adults are enduring today, uncertainty amongst a looming presence of being successful. The main characters honest story played out in grand fashion and made me happy and sad for them. You wanted them to succeed, but deep down did you know that it would end up that way?
I must confess. I kind of wanted to hate this film just because it seemed so successful, is that normal? But after viewing it I was just as enamored with it. Did it affect me in a way A Man Called Ove (a film I previously wrote about) did? No. But it was pleasant and did deserve all of its accolades. I never knew Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling could actually sing. Was it actually him playing piano too? Wow we Canadians are so talented.
I think a 9/10 seems reasonable, it had story, visual appeal, songs to sing along to, and great performances by the main actors. Yeah, why not!