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Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling Musical ‘La La Land’ to Open Venice Film Festival

Damian Chazelle directed and wrote tribute to Hollywood musicals

The Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone musical “La La Land” is set to open the 2016 Venice Film Festival, TheWrap has learned.

Oscar nominee Damian Chazelle (“Whiplash”) directed the film based on his own script. Gosling plays a jazz pianist while Stone plays an aspiring actress. They fall in deeply in love but their relationship is tested as they become more successful.

This is not the first time Gosling and Stone have played lovers onscreen. The duo previously appeared together in the 2011 film “Crazy Stupid Love” and “Gangster Squad.”

“‘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,” festival director Alberto Barbera said. “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.”

“Whiplash” won three Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K Simmons, who will also appear in “La La Land.” It was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

“La La Land” is produced by Lionsgate in partnership with Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures and Marc Platt Productions.

The film also stars Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko and John Legend. “La La Land” will be distributed in the USA by Lionsgate. The movie will have a limited release on December 2 and will then expand wide on December 16 in the U.S.

In addition, the board of the festival also announced that Barbera will stay on as the festival’s director for the next four year term of 2017-2020.

“This is an acknowledgment of the excellent job Barbera has done so far,” board president Baratta said. “Even as we undertake important new projects that will continue to raise the international standing of the Venice Film Festival and serve to fulfil its complex mission. Under these circumstances, continuity becomes an additional added value.

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