We’re handicapping the odds on the nine Best Picture contenders for the Feb. 26 Academy Awards. Today: La La Land.
Quick pitch: A dedicated jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) find love and musical inspiration in a Hollywood much like the movies — but reality and ambition challenge romance.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie Dewitt.
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Key early kudos: BAFTA/Golden Globes/Critics’ Choice Best Film
Box office (domestic, U.S. dollars): $134.7 million.
Ladbrokes odds: 1/8
Paddy Power: 1/7
Sky Bet: 1/10
Why it could win: It has the most nominations and strongest pre-Oscar kudos of all the contenders, usually a sign it will go all the way. And it’s beloved by both critics and regular moviegoers.
Why it might not:La La Land burnout has become a serious issue and the preferential Oscar ballot means a close rival like Moonlight could triumph.
Howell’s line:La LaLand has the heat, but does it have enough momentum to dance into the winner’s circle?
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