Venice Film Festival 2016: Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ to open competition

La La Land - Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

The Venice Film Festival is reporting that Damien Chazelle’s LA LA LAND, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, will open the 73rd Venice International Film Festival (running 31 August – 10 September 2016).

The film follows Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress that serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician as they struggle to make ends meet in the city of the title. It’s filled with heightened performance numbers, and a tribute to the classic musicals of yesteryear.

LA LA LAND director Chazelle’s Whiplash won three Oscars in 2015, including a Best Supporting Actor gong for J.K. Simmons.

LA LA LAND is a surprising tribute to the golden age of American musicals, from An American in Paris by Vincent Minnelli to New York, New York by Martin Scorsese,” says Festival director Alberto Barbera. “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.”

The film was originally scheduled for a 14 July release from eOne in Australia, but it is now being pushed back to Oscar season contention in the US with a planned limited release on 2 December and a wider release on 16 December. The current Australian release date is TBA.