IN THEATRES: April & May (2017)

This combo edition features the best new film releases still in theatres from April and the highly-anticipated May films coming soon. See below for the Top 4 films on my radar as well as an extra list of releases for a great mix of action, comedy, fantasy, drama and historic films.

1) ‘The Fate of the Furious’ – Friday April 14

The Fate of the Furious is the eighth installment in The Fast and Furious franchise featuring the return of the massive star-studded ensemble cast of Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell and many more. The story follows Dominic Toretto as he is manipulated into helping cyberterrorist Cipher, played by the incredible Charlize Theron, and forced to turn on his family. Dom’s team works with “Mr. Nobody” and a few other familiar faces as they try to bring Dom back and stop Cipher from starting World War III. Personally, regardless to how ridiculous the action scenes and cheesy lines are throughout this franchise, I will always love and will want to see each new release as long as they are being made.

2) ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ – Friday May 5

Guardians of the Galaxy – Vol. 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2014 superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy featuring the return of the incredible ensemble cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, and Vin Diesel. The story follows the Guardians as they travel through the galaxy to help their leader Peter Quill find his father and to once again save the universe. I absolutely loved the comedic elements of the first film and I CANNOT WAIT to see Baby Groot in action! To say I’m anxiously awaiting the night I see this film is a massive understatement.

3) ‘Baywatch’ – Thursday May 25

Baywatch is an action-comedy film remake of the TV series of the same name. The story features the big and buff Dwayne Johnson as leader of the lifeguard squad Mitch Buchannon as he adds ex-Olympian and new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron) to the team. The crew work to disrupt the drug trafficking operations of the new club owner on their beach. I love Dwayne Johnson in pretty much anything he does so I’m eager to see how he brings his spin to the iconic series. Plus, I can’t wait for the one-liners and hilarious inevitable slow-mo running sequence.

4) ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ – Friday May 26

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy franchise starring Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush in their reprised roles as Captain Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, and Hector Barbossa. The story follows Sparrow as he is hunted down by an old enemy, Armando Salazar, played by the brilliant Javier Bardem. Sparrow and his allies must seek out the ancient and powerful Trident of Poseidon in order gain control of the seas and stop Salazar from killing all pirates.

EXTRA FILM RELEASES – APRIL 2017

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‘Gifted’ – [Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

  • ‘Gifted’ (Fri Apr 7): is a drama film featuring Chris Evans as Frank Adler who has becomes the guardian of his seven-year-old genius niece after his sister passes away. The story follows Frank as he tries to raise his niece the way his sister would have wished, while fighting against his mother’s wishes.
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‘Free Fire’ [Credit: StudioCanal UK]

  • ‘Free Fire’ (Fri Apr 21): is an action-comedy film set in late-70s Boston following a meeting between two gangs that turns deadly. The film features a star-studded ensemble cast of Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Sharlto Copley.
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‘The Lost City of Z’ [Credit: Amazon Studios]

  • ‘The Lost City of Z’ (Fri Apr 21): is a biographical drama film based on the book of the same name written by David Grann, featuring Charlie Hunnam in the lead role of British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett. Set in the 1920s, the story follows Fawcett as he explores the Amazon in hopes of finding an ancient lost city.
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‘The Circle’ [Credit: STX Entertainment]

  • ‘The Circle’ (Fri Apr 28): is a techno-thriller film based on the novel of the same name written by Dave Eggers, featuring Emma Watson in the lead role of Mae Holland. The story follows Holland as she joins an influential internet company founded by manipulative businessman Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) and slowly unravels the company’s misuse of power.

EXTRA FILM RELEASES – MAY 2017

King Arthur

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

  • ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (Fri May 12): is a fantasy film set in 5th-century Britain starring Charlie Hunnam in the protagonist role of King Arthur and Jude Law in the antagonist role of Vortigern. The story follows Arthur as he is challenged to pull the powerful sword Excalibur from the stone, which forces him to decide to fulfill his birthright as King.
Snatched

‘Snatched’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

  • ‘Snatched’ (Fri May 12): is an action comedy film following the mother-daughter duo of Linda and Emily Middleton, played by Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer. The story follows the pair on a hilarious adventure as their exotic vacation turns into a fateful expedition to escape their kidnappers.
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‘Everything, Everything’ [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

  • ‘Everything, Everything’ (Fri May 19): is a romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name written by Nicola Yoon. The film stars Amanda Stenberg as Maddy Whittier, a teenager with a rare disease that prevents her from leaving her home. The story follows Maddy as she slowing falls in love with her neighbour Olly Bright (Nick Robinson) and begins to grow outside of the walls of her sheltered life.

Which film are you going to see in theatres this month?

IN THEATRES: February & March (2017)

This combo edition features the best new film releases still  in theatres from February and the highly-anticipated March films coming soon. See below for the Top 6 films on my radar as well as an extra list of releases for a great mix of action, comedy, romantic, sci-fi and drama films.

1) John Wick: Chapter 2 – Friday February 10

John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action thriller sequel to the 2014 film John Wick starring Keanu Reeves as a lethal retired hitman. The first film concluded as Wick completed his revenge on a main New York mob family and then walked back into retirement with his adorable new puppy. I was nervous that the storyline of the sequel would mirror the first in such that his cute new pitbull would be murdered to bring him out of retirement for the second time. I was happy to hear that the pitbull would be safe, and instead Wick would be brought back into the game by an Italian crime lord with the use of a sacred blood oath marker. I loved the neo-noir style of the first film and cannot wait to see how the action unfolds for the vicious assassin in the second. Also, I’m eager to see the new cast members of Ruby Rose, Common, and Laurence Fishburne, as well as the return of Ian McShane and Lance Reddick.

2) Logan – Friday March 3

Logan is the tenth instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) X-Men franchise, which is also the third film of the Wolverine trilogy featuring Hugh Jackman in the lead role of James “Logan” Howlett. The storyline is set in 2029 when mutants are on the brink of extinction. Also, Logan has aged significantly due to the adamantium within his body having a negatively affect on his healing powers. The film follows Logan as he cares for Professor Charles Xavier who is dying from a neurodegenerative disease, and discovers a young girl who has similar mutant powers as himself. I’m excited to see Jackman close out his 17 years as Wolverine in a unique way, by teaming up with the next generation for his final mission.

3) Table 19 – Friday March 3

Table 19 is a comedy film featuring Anna Kendrick as ex-maid of honour Eloise McGarry, who has had her duties revoked after being dumped by the best man and brother to her bride-to-be best friend right before the wedding. As a sign of solidarity to her friendship, Eloise decides to attend the wedding anyways. However, she finds herself relegated to Table 19 with the guests who were invited out of obligation. The story follows Eloise as she maneuvers her way through the awkwardness of the wedding while also learning about the lives of her fellow misfits.

4) Beauty and the Beast – Friday March 17

Beauty and the Beast is a fantasy musical live-action remake of the classic 1991 animated Disney film of the same name. The story mirrors the original as Belle, played by the stunning Emma Watson, is taken prisoner by a magical Beast (Dan Stevens) as a trade for her father’s freedom. Belle begins to warm to the personalities of the enchanted castle within she is imprisoned, and discovers a softness behind the aggressive nature of the Beast. Meanwhile, the arrogant town hunter Gaston (Luke Evans) wants Belle for himself and gathers a crowd to oppose the Beast. I am excited to see this classic Disney tale come to life on the big screen and am in love with the ensemble cast. Specifically, Kevin Kline as Belle’s father, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

5) Life – Friday March 24

Life is a sci-fi horror film that follows a crew of astronauts after they successfully obtain a space probe from Mars containing the first ever proof of extraterrestrial life. Unfortunately, the story takes a dark turn as the organism begins to grow and takes on a destructive nature. In order to save mankind, the crew must find a way to destroy the life form on their journey back to Earth. I love the concept of this film as many people are intrigued by the idea of finding other signs of life in the universe, but I like that it shows the potential danger of this discovery. Also, the ensemble cast is stacked with talent such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds.

6) The Zookeeper’s Wife – Friday March 31

The Zookeeper’s Wife is a war drama film based on the non-fiction book of the same name written by Diane Ackerman. The film stars Jessica Chastain in the lead role of Antonina Zabinska who, alongside her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh), sheltered and protected hundreds of people and animals at the Warsaw Zoo in Poland during World War II. Personally, I love Jessica Chastain, films about World War II, and animals, so to say that I’m excited to see this film is a strong understatement.

Extra Film Releases – February 2017

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‘The Space Between Us’ [Credit: STX Entertainment]

  • The Space Between Us (Fri Dec 3): is a sci-fi romance film following the unconventional upbringing of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), a teenager who was the first person to be born on Mars. Gardner meets Tulsa (Britt Robertson) online and he decides to journey to Earth to meet her and his biological father.
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‘The Lego Batman Movie’ [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

  • The Lego Batman Movie (Fri Feb 10): is the animated superhero spin-off to The Lego Movie 2014 film, which follows Batman (Will Arnett) as he teams up with his sidekick Robin (Michael Cera) in order to defeat his arch-rival the Joker (Zach Galifianakis).
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‘Get Out’ [Credit: Universal Pictures]

  • Get Out (Fri Feb 24): is a horror film that follows young African-American photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) as he spends a trip at his Caucasian girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family estate. However, the story takes a dark turn as Chris begins to realize the racially charged murderous set up of the family neighbourhood.

EXTRA Film Releases – March 2017

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‘Before I Fall’ [Credit: Open Road Films]

  • Before I Fall (Fri Mar 3): is a drama film based on the 2010 novel of the same name starring Zoey Deutch as high school senior Samantha Kingston. The story follows Samantha as she continuously repeats her last day on Earth in order to uncover the mystery of her death.
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‘Power Rangers’ [Credit: Lionsgate]

  • Power Rangers (Fri Mar 24): is a superhero action re-boot film based on the franchise of the same name. Five teenagers magically become the newest generation of Power Rangers and come together to defeat Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) as she seeks out the Zeo Crystal.
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‘The Boss Baby’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

  • The Boss Baby (Fri Mar 31): is an animated comedy film based on the 2010 picture book of the same name. The story follows Tim Templeton (Tobey Maguire) as he tells the story of his childhood jealousy of his fast-talking authoritative baby brother (Alec Baldwin).

Which film are you going to see in theatres this month?

ACADEMY AWARDS: Highlights (2017)

The Annual Academy Awards Night is basically the Super Bowl Sunday of Hollywood, so of course it is one of my favourite television specials of the year. See below for highlights from Sunday’s event including major award winners, other key award winners, my best dressed list, and a few fun bonus items!

MAJOR AWARD WINNERS

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‘Moonlight’ [Credit: A24] 

Best Picture – ‘Moonlight’

Best Picture Nominations – ‘Arrival’, ‘Fences’, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, ‘Hell or High Water’, ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘La La Land’, ‘Lion’, and ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

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Best Actress – Emma Stone, ‘La La Land’ [Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

Best Actress – Emma Stone, ‘La La Land’

Best Actress Nominations: Isabelle Huppert – ‘Elle’, Ruth Negga ‘Loving’, Natalie Portman ‘Jackie’, and Meryl Streep ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’.

89th Academy Awards - Oscars Awards Show

Best Actor – Casey Affleck, ‘Manchester by the Sea’ [Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters]

Best Actor – Casey Affleck, ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Best Actor Nominations: Andrew Garfield – ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, Ryan Gosling ‘La La Land’, Viggo Mortensen ‘Captain Fantastic’, and Denzel Washington ‘Fences’.

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Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis, ‘Fences’ [Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis, ‘Fences’

Best Supporting Actress Nominations: Naomie Harris – ‘Moonlight’, Nicole Kidman ‘Lion’, Octavia Spencer – ‘Hidden Figures’, and Michelle Williams ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

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Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, ‘Moonlight’ [Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, ‘Moonlight’

Best Supporting Actor Nominations: Jeff Bridges – ‘Hell or High Water’, Dev Patel – ‘Lion’,  Michael Shannon – ‘Nocturnal Animals’, and Lucas Hedges – ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

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Best Director – Damien Chazelle, ‘La La Land’ [Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

Best Director – Damien Chazelle, ‘La La Land’

Best Director Nominations: Denis Villeneuve – ‘Arrival’, Mel Gibson ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, Kenneth Lonergan ‘Manchester by the Sea’, and Barry Jenkins ‘Moonlight’.

OTHER KEY AWARDS

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

Best Original Score – Justin Hurwitz

Best Cinematography – Linus Sandgren, ‘La La Land’

Best Original Song – “City of Stars”

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‘Zootopia’ [Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]

Animated Feature – ‘Zootopia’

Click here for a FULL LIST winners and nominees!

BEST DRESSED

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Emma Stone in Givenchy [Credit: Steve Granitz/Getty Images]

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Ruth Negga in Custom Valentino [Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/LA Times]

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Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti [Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/LA Times]

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Karlie Kloss in Marchesa and Naeem Khan [Credit: Getty Images]

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Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad & John Legend [Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

BONUS ITEMS

 

 

TUESDAY TOP 10: Super Bowl 51 Commercials

Sunday’s Super Bowl 51 was definitely one for the ages as the underdog Atlanta Falcons team took on the veteran New England Patriots squad. The game was full of amazing throws, clutch catches, aggressive sacks, and the first over-time action in Super Bowl history. My sport background is one of the main reasons I love the Super Bowl but also anxiously await the half-time performance and creative ads. This year was even more exciting for me as I didn’t have to wait until Monday morning to see the best ads because this year was the first time Canadians got to see them live! So without further adieu check out my favourite 10 commercials and top film trailers from Sunday’s game as well as a couple of fun bonus items.

Top 10 Commercials

1) Budweiser – “Born The Hard Way”

2) Buick ft. Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr

3) Avocados from Mexico – #AvoSecrets

4) Honda – “Yearbooks”

5) Sprint – “Extreme Measures”

6) T-Mobile – #BagOfUnlimited ft. Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg

7) T-Mobile – #Punished ft. Kristen Schaal

8) Kia – “Hero’s Journey” ft. Melissa McCarthy

9) Mercedes – “Easy Rider” directed by The Coen Brothers

10) T-Mobile – #UnlimitedMoves ft. Justin Bieber

Trailer Releases

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – In Theatres May 5

Baywatch – In Theatres May 26

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – In Theatres May 26

The Fate of the Furious – In Theatres April 14

Bonus Items

If you want to check out a FULL LIST of commercials from Sunday’s big-game to make your own Top 10 list click the link below. Also, if you didn’t get a chance, see the video link below for Lady Gaga’s epic half-time performance!

Full List of ALL Commercials from Sunday’s Super Bowl 51

FILM IN REVIEW: La La Land (2016)

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‘La La Land’ – 8.6/10 IMDb

As mentioned in the most recent combo edition of ‘In Theatres’, La La Land was the number one film I was must eager to go and see to kick start the New Year! The romantic musical film unites Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for the third time since Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad. The duo gave exceptional performances as aspiring actress Mia Dolan and jazz pianist Sebastian Wilder, which played perfectly off of Damien Chazelle’s writing and direction as well as Justin Hurwitz’s musical score. As a result, the film broke a long-held Golden Globes record by winning seven awards and tied Titanic and All About Eve by earning 14 Academy Award nominations. This post will feature a quick film summary, a breakdown of my favourite parts of the film, as well as a couple of fun bonus items.

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

Film Summary

La La Land opens with an incredible group ensemble number (‘Another Day of Sun’) on a packed Los Angeles highway where we are first introduced to Mia and Sebastian. Their relationship doesn’t start with the sunshine and rainbows of most romantic films as the two share a snippy moment of road rage before they go their separate ways. Mia has a rough interview and ends up heading to a fancy party with her friends, after they convince her that she needs a girl’s night out with a bright and cheery number (‘Someone in the Crowd’). As the sadness slowly creeps back in, Mia leaves the party to unfortunately find out that her car has been towed so she begins her long trek back to the city. During her walk she wanders into a bar just as Sebastian has broken out into a passionate jazz solo. However, this is for the last time as the owner (J.K. Simmons) fires him on the spot and he storms off leaving Mia with all of her words left unsaid.

As luck would have it, Mia runs into Sebastian a few months later as he is performing with a 80s pop cover band at her friend’s pool party. There is obvious chemistry between the two even though their iconic tap-dance centred number (‘A Lovely Night’) attempts to argue otherwise. However, the two quickly begin to warm up to each other as they share their hopes and dreams for the future in LA’s movie and music scenes. Several romantic numbers unfold as the two sing the film’s key duet (‘City of Stars’) and take a trip to the Griffith Observatory (‘Planetarium’). As the storyline progresses the pair struggle with their individual aspirations, which leads them to question what the future holds and if their love can withstand the pressures of the unknown.

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

See Also:

Favourite Parts of the Film

1) ‘A Lovely Night’ – Skyline Tap-Dance Number

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

The big tap dance number (‘A Lovely Night’) between Mia and Sebastian as they walk back to her car with the skyline in the background was exceptional. The two were adorable during the build up to the dance portion as Mia changed shoes and pointed out that they weren’t good together. Once the dancing began it was as if we had been transported back to Old Hollywood as the two let go of the dialogue and gave it their all. As the two are not dancers or singers by trade, I thought they gave a wonderful performance as they worked through Mandy Moore’s brilliant choreography. Also, all of the major musical numbers were done in one take so it was even more impressive to me as they both were not trained Broadway performers.

2) Bright & Timeless Costume Design

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

La La Land‘s costume designer Mary Zophres chose amazing outfits that popped with coloured and matched the timeless style of the film perfectly. My favourite outfits include the girls’ bright dresses in the ‘Someone in the Crowd’ number, as well as all of the jewel toned dresses worn by Mia throughout the film. Zophres has two Academy Award (Best Costume Design) nominations for La La Land and True Grit, but is also known for her work in Catch Me If You Can and Gangster Squad. Check out this fun Hollywood Report interview featuring Mary Zophres’ thought process behind the “Retro Realistic Look of the Film”.

3) Mia’s Passionate ‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream)’ Performance

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‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

As previously mentioned, Emma Stone is not a singer by trade but I felt like the films’ musical numbers all lead up to Mia’s final audition and Stone was exceptional. This song was the first time that Stone truly got to belt out the passion trapped inside of Mia, and I loved every second of it. As a result, ‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream)’ has earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song alongside the film’s iconic duet ‘City of Stars’. If you haven’t heard it yet or just want to listen to it on repeat, check out the bonus items for the full song with lyrics.

4) Extraordinary Dream Sequence

La La Land (2016 Film) - MovieholicHub.com

‘La La Land’ [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

As the film came to an end and flashed forward five years we learned that Mia and Sebastian had not ended up together. I was initially sad but still happy that Mia had reached her dream and found love. However, when she stumbled across Seb’s I couldn’t help but smiling from ear to ear as Sebastian was able to capture his dream too. But, then my heart was filled with bittersweet happiness as the film’s dream sequence showed what could have been it magically rewrote the past so the two could end up together. Once the song ended the two returned to each of their realities and Mia got up to leave. However, on her way out she looked back to share a sweet smile, which captured how proud they were of each other and how real their love had been.

Bonus Items

For those of you who loved the film, check out this Travel + Leisure article for 13 locations in Los Angeles that you should visit. Also, click on the two video links below for Mia’s ‘Audition (Fools Who Dream)’ song as well as a mix of funny Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling interview moments.