‘La La Land’ Scores Top Prize at Toronto International Film Festival
Movies| | By Sara Wilkins
Director Damien Chazelle shared his gratitude for the honor in a statement which reads, “To make this movie was a dream come true, and to see it connect with Toronto audiences in this way is deeply gratifying. I wanted this film to speak in a way that even the most far-fetched dreams can guide us, and everything about this moment feels surreal.” The Hollywood-set musical, about two aspiring artists who fall in love, was chosen by festival attendees as the People’s Choice Awards recipient, and the winner is often considered a top contender when the Academy Awards roll around. Previous victors of the prize include Oscar-winning films 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire, and Room, which claimed the title last year. This is also the second festival honor bestowed upon La La Land in the past few weeks, after Stone scooped the award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month. Meanwhile, the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Awards was drama Lion, followed by Queen of Katwe, which Lupita Nyong’o starred in. Other winners included Brie Larson’s Free Fire (People’s Choice Awards, Midnight Madness), Jackie, featuring Natalie Portman as former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Platform Prize), and I Am Not Your Negro, based on an unfinished James Baldwin novel (People’s Choice Award, Documentary Winner).