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Here’s to the ones who dream, indeed.
Damien Chazelle’s tribute to the golden age of movie musicals had entered the night with a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations — a benchmark previously held only by 1950’s All About Eve and 1997’s Titanic. The most the film could’ve taken home was 13, since two of its songs competed against each other in the best original song category.
Throughout the evening, the Lionsgate musical won the Oscars for best director, actress, production design, cinematography, score and original song.
It fared well in comparison to its fellow record holders for most nominations, as All About Eve also took home six Oscars in 1951. Yet Titanic is one of a few films that hold the record for the most Oscars won by a film: 11 wins, an achievement also attained by Ben-Hur (1959) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
The other films that have won six Oscars are The Hurt Locker, Forrest Gump, Chicago, Mrs. Miniver, The Godfather: Part II, Star Wars, A Place in the Sun, An American in Paris and A Man for All Seasons. Eleven films have previously won seven Oscars, eight films have won eight, three films have won nine and one film has won 10 awards in a single year.
Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land centers on an aspiring actress and a jazz musician as they pursue their dreams in Los Angeles. John Legend and J.K. Simmons are also featured among the cast. Writer-director Chazelle and his longtime friend, composer Justin Hurwitz (who also composed the score Whiplash), first explored the modern movie-musical concept in their senior thesis at Harvard, and added lyrics penned by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
“We were all nervous. If a musical goes off the rails, it can be ugly,” Chazelle previously told The Hollywood Reporter of making La La Land. “We all knew that, but they were able to not let the nervousness translate into their work — and that is something I was never able to accomplish.”
After garnering critical acclaim throughout the festival circuit, La La Land won the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and guild awards. So far, the film has grossed $368 million at the worldwide box office and inspired the development of a new wave of movie musicals.
The 89th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday.
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