‘La La Land’ Continues Award Season Glory, Wins Big at BAFTA Awards

As the 89th Academy Awards ceremony creeps closer, the record-breaking film La La Land (nominated for an astounding 14 Oscars) continues to pick up many other trophies across the board. The 70th annual British Academy Film Awards was certainly no exception as the musical dramedy film picked up five awards at last night’s annual event.

As The Telegraph reports, the film had the most nominations of the night (a total of 11), including major nominations for the film’s leading pair Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Although Gosling didn’t come out on top in his category, Stone defeated award darling Meryl Streep to take home the trophy for Leading Actress.

Upon accepting her BAFTA, winner Emma Stone even took the moment to make a political statement about how the ceremony celebrates “the positive gift of creativity and how it can transcend borders,” and “…help people feel a little less alone” in a difficult time for the world.

Besides Stone, the film itself won for Best Film against the likes of sci-fi thriller Arrival, the Casey Affleck-led Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight, all of which are also vying for the coveted “Best Picture” statuette at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony on Feb 26. Could La La Land‘s triumph last night predict its win on Oscar night? That’s not so easy to tell as of yet.

Director Damian Chazelle wins BAFTA award for “La La Land”. [Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

The film’s director Damian Chazelle won for Best Direction, beating out Denis Villenueuve (Arrival), Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), and Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals). The fourth award went to Linus Sandgren for the film’s cinematography, and the final one went to Justin Hurwitz for the film’s musical score.

Interestingly, all the BAFTA winners for the film last night are also in their respective categories for the Academy Awards where they all hope to mirror last night’s success. Perhaps they hope to win even bigger at the Oscar’s.

Even though the film garnered the most nominations of the night, it wasn’t a landslide. The film lost in its categories for Leading Actor, Original Screenplay, Production Design, Editing, Costume Design, and Sound (there is hope for them, however as they are also all in the running for Hollywood’s biggest honor on February 26). As The Guardian reports, the evening was filled with diversity. This allowed other critical favorites like Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Fences to share the limelight along with La La Land.

Landslide or not, there’s no denying that the feel-good film (which tells the love story of two struggling artists in Los Angeles, one a pianist and the other an actress) is a massive hit. To date, the film has grossed nearly $300 million at the box office worldwide, won a record-breaking seven Golden Globe Awards (winning in every category it was nominated for), and tied the Oscar record previously set by 1997’s Titanic and 1950’s All About Eve with 14 nominations.

[Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

While the BAFTA’s are hardly a precursor for what will happen on Oscar night, they do provide an interesting history. According to the Hollywood Reporter, only seven films that won the Best Film BAFTA award went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars since 2001. In other categories, even fewer have transferred over. Based on the fact that La La Land wasn’t a clean sweep last night (or close to it), it could mean that it may not sweep the Oscar’s either, or it could prove to not matter at all. Only time will tell.

But one thing is for sure: going into the Academy Awards later this month, it’s anybody’s guess as to who will be the big winner. La La Land has just as much a chance (if not slightly better) as any other nominated film.

[Featured Image by Tristan Fewings/ Getty Images]

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