'La La Land'
In which director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) doesn't so much reinvent the musical as thoroughly modernize and revitialize it, putting Ryan Gosling's jazz pianist and Emma Stone's struggling actress through some serious song-and-dance paces. Folks who caught Chazelle's 2009 debut Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench knew that he had a penchant for (and love of) staging throwback crooning, hoofing set pieces. But this waking Technicolor dream makes you feel like you've just binged three weeks worth of TCM programming in the best possible way, and you have not lived until you've seen a Los Angeles freeway turned into a Broadway-style stage or watched the film's lovelorn couple literally waltz among the stars. Mondo swooning, this. DF