‘La La Land’ takes top prize in Toronto
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s musical ode to Los Angeles, captured the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday after screening to standing ovations and rave reviews.
The film — and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — are widely expected to be major Oscar season players. To snag the prize in Toronto, “La La Land” bested runner-ups “Lion” and “Queen of Katwe,” two inspirational dramas that also generated some heat up north.
The victory could bolster “La La Land’s” chances of picking up the movie business’s top prize. After all, five audience award winners have gone on to capture best picture, a group that includes “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The King’s Speech,” “American Beauty” and “Chariots of Fire.” Lionsgate will release “La La Land” in theaters on Dec. 2. It marks Chazelle’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 indie, “Whiplash.”
Ben Wheatley’s “Free Fire” received the Midnight Madness audience award. The action thriller stars Brie Larson. Raoul Peck picked up the people’s choice documentary award for “I Am Not Your Negro,” a look at one of writer James Baldwin’s unfinished works.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling on the red carpet for “La La Land” at the Toronto International Film Festival.