Movie Reviews: La La Land & Dr. Strange


Abigail Finnerty '19 & Isabelle Frank '19

La La Land

By Abigail Finnerty ’19


Nowadays, you rarely see a truly feel-good movie.  However, La La Land brings back all of the feelings you experience when you view an old Hollywood cinema classic.  From the exuberant opening number “Another Day of Sun” to the bittersweet ending, La La Land taps into a range of emotions.

The film centers around Mia, played by the marvelous Emma Stone, and Sebastian, played by an always charming Ryan Gosling.  Mia and Sebastian both struggle to make their dreams come true, but are persistent nonetheless.  However, the film begs the question: do Mia and Sebastian value their relationship more than their dreams?  You’ll have to see the film to find out!

The ending of the film (I promise I won’t reveal!) has been controversial.  Some have accepted it while others are devastated by it.  A few Montrose students who saw the film had strong opinions about La La Land.  Bridget Crevier ‘19 said: “I thought La La Land was really good.  I can see why it’s been winning a lot of awards.”  When pressed about the ending, she added: “I can see why people don’t like it, but it didn’t bother me that much because the rest of the movie was so good.” Keara Savage ‘19 was on the opposite end of the spectrum: “I loved La La Land until the end. The end ruined the entire movie for me.”  

I lean more towards Bridget’s opinion, but I understand how Keara feels.  I was incredibly excited to see La La Land, because I thought director Damien Chazelle’s previous film Whiplash was phenomenal.  

I also couldn’t wait to see the undeniable chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who worked together previously in the films Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad.  The first time I saw La La Land, Bridget and I both were mesmerized by the vibrant colors of the film and the catchy songs that were present throughout the film.

Even though the ending was not ideal, it didn’t bother either of us because cinematically La La Land is genius.  A few days later, I saw La La Land with my family, and my opinion changed slightly.  While I still thought La La Land was amazing, the ending became more emotional for me.  Seeing it a second time made me realize how upsetting the ending truly was.  However, I still love La La Land nonetheless.

To discover why La La Land is truly a torn masterpiece, go see it!  I recommend the film to people of all ages

Review: Dr. Strange 

By Isabelle Frank

Doctor Strange, Marvel’s most recent movie, is a story about personal growth. The movie tells the story of Doctor Steven Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is a genius, arrogant, and narcissistic neurosurgeon.

After crashing his car, Steven’s injuries to his hands are so severe that he cannot perform surgery anymore. He then hears of a man who recently made a miraculous recovery which prompts him to journey to Nepal, where he finds a group of sorcerers who control the alternate dimensions of the universe. He begins training with them, giving him a new life purpose. He learns everything he can about the hidden mystic world. And when a dark sorcerer threatens the world, Steven steps in, disregarding any personal risk.

Although the magic in the film is unrealistic, Steven’s growth over the course of the film portrays a very real lesson viewers should all keep in mind. At the beginning of the movie, Steven is a rude, uncaring, and thoroughly obnoxious person. However, his training in Nepal changes him into a more generous and selfless man. Although experiencing some doubt when given the choice to go back to his old life or change the world, Steven decides to help his colleagues save the world.

I loved this movie. The 3-D visual effects were spectacular, Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting was wonderful, and, most of all, I loved seeing Steven’s development over the course of the story.