The Ryan Gosling Mega-Hit On Netflix That Is Finding A New Audience

By Douglas Helm | Updated

movie soundtrack
La La Land

Ryan Gosling has been getting plenty of (rightful) praise for bringing a ton of Kenergy to the Barbie movie and temporarily stealing the show with his “Just Ken” musical number. But Gosling has shown off his musical chops plenty of times before this, most notably in his beautiful performance in the 2016 film La La Land. Now the film is getting a resurgence thanks to Barbie, and you can stream it on Netflix now if you can’t get enough of Gosling’s vocals.

Ryan Gosling wowed audiences with his surprise musical number in Barbie, but fans of La La Land knew he could sing and dance.

Ryan Gosling’s crooner-type vocals are perfectly matched by his co-star in La La Land, the always incredible Emma Stone, who gives arguably one of her best film performances. The film follows Gosling and Stone’s characters, an aspiring jazz pianist and aspiring actress, respectively, in Los Angeles, who balance their budding romance with their obtaining their dreams. Rounding out the star-studded cast are John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, and J. K. Simmons. 

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone aren’t the only ones bringing their A-game to La La Land, as director Damien Chazelle was also on a tear of incredible films in the 2010s. He kicked off the decade with the amazing Whiplash, about a dedicated jazz drummer and his intense professor. La La Land would land two years later to even more widespread acclaim, and he would end his 2010s run with 2018’s First Man, for which he brought Ryan Gosling back to play Neil Armstrong.

Damien Chazelle’s love for music clearly shines the brightest, though, as Whiplash and La La Land are both borderline-perfect films, with audiences and critics in agreement. While Whiplash undoubtedly was beloved by critics, La La Land took things to the next level for Chazelle and received a whopping fourteen nominations at the Academy Awards, which tied the record for nominations at the time. Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were nominated for the Lead Actors categories, though Stone was the one who ended up taking home the win (deservedly so, we might add).

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

While no one would have disagreed with Ryan Gosling winning the Oscar for his performance in La La Land, too, Casey Affleck’s heartbreaking performance in Manchester by the Sea was going to be hard to beat that year. Still, Chazelle’s film nabbed five additional wins alongside Stone’s, including wins for Best Director (making Chazelle the youngest to win that award), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Production Design.

Even if Ryan Gosling didn’t bring home the big award for La La Land, the film set a record for nominations, with 14 in total.

Other nominations that the film received, but didn’t win, included Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay for Chazelle, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. It’s not surprising that it nabbed all these awards and nominations. The lead performances by Ryan Gosling and Stone, the great music, and Chazelle’s deft direction combined the perfect storm of audience entertainment with auteur-level execution.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s La La Land ended up being a massive box office hit as well, bringing in a worldwide total of $446.1 million against a production budget of $30 million. Even those who don’t typically like musicals will find plenty to love about the film. Even though it is technically a musical, the songs are very naturally incorporated into the narrative (outside of the bombastic and super fun opening number) and fit with the character being a musician and an actress.

It doesn’t hurt that the songs are also beautiful and beautifully performed by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. In short, La La Land manages to achieve the borderline impossible, making a musical that even people who hate musicals have to love. It’s a rare feat, and it’s not something that you get to see too often.

Ryan Gosling has been on an acting hot streak for decades, going back to The Notebook, and 2024’s The Fall Guy looks to keep the trend going.

Ryan Gosling’s career has pretty much been on a very steady uptrend ever since his breakthrough in The Notebook. He has managed to balance critically-acclaimed comedies like Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Nice Guys, and Barbie with acclaimed dramatic roles like Drive, Blade Runner 2049, La La Land, and First Man. It seems like he’ll probably be keeping his hot streak going with his upcoming films like 2024’s The Fall Guy, which David Leitch will direct.

In any case, there is plenty of Ryan Gosling content in the ether right now. You can still see Gosling alongside Margot Robbie in Barbie, which is in theaters. You can also check out La La Land now on Netflix.