During the past four years I’ve had the enormous privilege of witnessing a handful of performances that transcend the merely indelible and are etched into my memory as examples of the sublime.
Reaching back in time I conjure up Felicity Jones’s heartbreaking gaze in The Theory of Everything, Adele Exarchopoulous raw emotion in Blue is the Warmest Color, and Jennifer Lawrence’s aching desires in Silver Linings Playbook.
It is perhaps telling of the state of my heart that these performances display emotions associated with the joy, longing and disenchantment of romance. It makes sense then that the latest performance to join such ethereal ranks is one that broke my heart with a single, final smile.
La La Land, as magical a film as one will ever see, blesses the audience with two fantastic performers in Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. But it is Gosling’s Sebastian, and the way he drives to Nevada from L.A. to revive the dreams of the girl he loves, that has forever cemented his performance in my memory as truly unforgettable.