Could 'La La Land' Win Best Picture At The 2017 Oscars? It's Already A Frontrunner

Based on the massive amount of positive feedback the film has already gotten, it feels like La La Land is becoming one of 2016's biggest movies. Ever since Dec. 30, when images of the film's co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were released exclusively via Entertainment Weekly, the movie has seemed like utter perfection. But is La La La Oscar-worthy in addition to a clearly must-see film? The modern musical with a classic 1930s vibe just won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, but while a victory is always nice, does this honor prelude one of the greatest accomplishments of all movie-dom, the Best Picture win at the Oscars?

It's a definite possibility. There have been five other films that've won the People's Choice Award at TIFF and then proceeded to capture Best Picture at the Oscars since the festival started in 1976: Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, American Beauty, and Chariots of Fire. So while La La Land winning Best Pic is far from guaranteed, is definitely a possibility.

It's no wonder this musical is already an award winner and maybe a contender for Best Picture. The movie has all the right parts to put it in the same league as the previous winners. First, there's the casting of Gosling and Stone, America's Sweethearts and previous Academy Award nominees, in the starring roles of Sebastian and Mia, two dreamers trying to make it Los Angeles. Then, there's all the dancing and singing, which was directed by Damien Chazelle of the Oscar-nominated film Whiplash , so you know it's going to be musically appealing. Lastly, the entire look of the film is stunning, with its popping colors and jaw-dropping backdrops. The trailer itself is so visually stimulating that I don't want to look away. This movie was born to be a crowd-pleaser.

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But will it actually win Best Picture? Let's break down what a TIFF victory means for a film's Oscar-worthiness. TIFF is different from other festivals that it doesn't rely primarily on a panel of judges but instead on the votes of the actual viewers of the films. There aren't any "best actor" or "best screenplay" awards because the festival is mostly non-competitive but, as CNN reports, the People's Choice Award is the main prize and goes to the feature-length film with the highest ratings as voted by the entire festival-going audience. TIFF's differences from other festivals give it a perspective that, as history proves, the Academy seems to notice.

Films that have shown at the festival and have gone on to great acclaim, even if not Best Picture wins, have included Room, The Imitation Game, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, and Dallas Buyers Club. With its more audience-friendly nature, TIFF manages to hold a key position as a festival and oftentimes predicts the biggest movies of awards season. So it is totally possible that an audience-appointed award in Toronto could lead to something greater for La La Land.


But who knows if the voices of the TIFF festival-goers who honored La La Land are going to agree with the voice of the Academy? We will simply have to wait until the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2017 to find out.

Images: Black Label Media, Giphy