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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Rogue One' And 'La La Land'

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in <em>Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.</em>
Jonathan Olley
Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

We're in the time of year where not only do potentially popular movies hit theaters, but so do potentially Oscar-winning movies. We brought Daoud Tyler-Ameen of NPR Music to our fourth chair this week for a chat about two of the biggest releases in a while.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a standalone addition to the franchise, and we talk about how it works, how it differs from the films in the main timeline, and how the casting of actors including Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Riz Ahmed serves the story of how some scrappy rebels ended up with the plans for a super-weapon.

La La Land is a luscious musical with lots of old Hollywood influences, directed and written by Damien Chazelle, who came to the attention of lots of folks a couple of years ago when he made the also music-driven but much less sunny drummer tale Whiplash. You'll get to hear some of the music, and we'll try to figure out how to evaluate an unexpected detour into John Legend territory midway through the film.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about a film that he admits he's not objective about at all. Glen is happy about an opportunity to dive even more deeply into a show with which he admits he doesn't have a love-hate relationship — he just has a love-love relationship. Daoud is happy about a video series full of physics and a movie full of very engaging actresses. And I am happy about a new podcast that might be just what you need — or someone you care about needs — right now.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Daoud, producer Jessica, and executive producer and music director Mike. And thanks to those of you who are supporting your local station — and thus supporting us.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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