Several promising-looking - and very different - awards season contenders are going to be rolling into theaters throughout next month. That roster includes the Ben Affleck-directed/starring Prohibition-era crime drama/thriller Live By Night, the Denzel Washington-directed/headlined play-turned dramatic film Fences and Martin Scorsese's long-developing adaptation of the Shûsaku Endô novel, Silence. However, for the time being the December release that has the most positive buzz surrounding it is Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle's throwback musical, La La Land.
La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as, respectively, the jazz pianist Sebastian and aspiring actress Mia; just two of many people struggling to realize their dreams and live their lives to the fullest in the City of Angels (aka Los Angeles). A pair of trailers have already been released for the film, in turn highlighting two of the original songs from La La Land: "City of Stars" (performed by Gosling) and "Audition" (performed by Stone), based on lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Lionsgate has now released a third (and full-length) trailer for La La Land, subtitled "Dreamers", which you can watch above. This preview focuses more on the events that lead to Sebastian and Mia meeting and immediately forming a (romantic) connection with one another; at the same time, showing the difficulties and challenges that come with their artistic performance careers of choice. Early reviews from La La Land's screenings on the film festival circuit have been near-universally enthusiastic and Lionsgate has naturally taken advantage of that, by incorporating a number of those choice critic quotes into this new theatrical preview.
The new La La Land trailer also features appearances by Chazelle's Oscar-winning Whiplash star J.K. Simmons (who only plays a small supporting role here) and real-life musician John Legend as one of Sebastian's collaborators, Keith. La La Land also features appearances by such noteworthy actors as Rosemarie DeWitt (Promised Land), as well as up and comers Callie Hernandez (who also costars in next year's Alien: Covenant) and Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina). This new trailer for the film keeps the spotlight fixed on Stone and Gosling, but there are glimpses of the supporting cast and even the film's opening musical number (described as being a real show-stopper that takes place during LA's peak "traffic hour").
La La Land, taken as a whole, looks and (literally) sounds very promising, making it something of a must-see for film buffs this December - regardless of how much traction it ultimately does (or does not) pick up during the impending awards season. Whiplash did net a handful of Oscars in addition to Simmons' win, but Chazelle himself went home empty-handed; meaning if La La Land does keep picking up speed over the next few months of awards shows, that story could end differently for the filmmaker, this time around.