Every time a successful musical comes along – Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Moulin Rouge – it is heralded as some sort of rebirth. Proving, yet again, that there is still life in this continually reinvented genre (and perhaps topping them all) we now have Damien Chazlle’s Oscar laden La La Land.

With nods to everything from Singing in the Rain to Casablanca, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dance from one colour saturated LA location to another, all the while chased by Linus Sandgren’s camera, dreamily weaving in hypnotic syncopation to Justin Hurwitz’s score. While both stars are more actors than dancers, Mandy Moore’s choreographer somehow capitalises on this, giving them just enough to do, grounding their moves in reality.

As a consequence, for all the singing and dancing, it is the charisma and chemistry between Stone and Gosling that shines throughout, and sometimes in spite of, the spectacle on show. Funny, clever and frequently audacious, La La Land is a marvel to watch, but at heart – and it certainly has a heart – this is a simple story about love, made with love.

By David Vass