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With 14 Oscar Nominations, La La Land Now Among Most-Celebrated Films Ever

  | January 25, 2017 10:53 IST (Washington)
La La Land

Oscar Nominations: La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling

Oscar Nominations: La La Land won seven Golden Globes earlier this year - a record number. Whatever happens at the Academy Awards next month and beyond, Damien Chazelle's movie has already made history

La La Land just joined one of the most elite groups in Hollywood.
Tuesday's Academy Awards announcement netted the musical 14 nominations, tying it with Titanic and All About Eve for most ever.
Does La La Land really belong within those ranks?
Damien Chazelle's boy-meets-girl musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling follows the ups and downs of trying to make it big in show business. The 1950 drama All About Eve, starring Bette Davis, is also set within the entertainment industry, centering on an aging Broadway actress.
But All About Eve has secured a permanent place among America's most important cinematic classics; it ranks 16th in the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 100 greatest American movies of the previous century. La La Land also got plenty of critical acclaim. But it's unclear whether a movie known for its attempt to recast an old genre will be remembered in a similar fashion decades later.
"La La Land... pulses and glows like a living thing in its own right, as if the MGM musicals of the Singin' in the Rain era had a love child with the more abstract confections of Jacques Demy," wrote Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday. In doing so, the film created "a new kind of knowing, self-aware genre that rewards the audience with all the indulgences they crave - beautiful sets and costumes, fanciful staging and choreography, witty songs, escapist wish-fulfillment - while commenting on them from the sidelines."
The 2016 musical is also worlds apart from James Cameron's sweeping epic Titanic. Despite the 1997 movie's long running time -- three hours and 15 minutes -- audiences flocked to see the giant ship go down in a story that combined action, drama, romance and a chart-topping theme song in Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.
Titanic remained in theaters for 41 weeks and became one of the biggest box office hits ever -- it remains fifth on the list of highest grossing movies in domestic sales, adjusted for ticket price inflation, according to Box Office Mojo.
Titanic also had a much wider initial distribution than La La Land, playing in 2,674 theaters and grossing nearly $53 million at the box office during opening weekend. La La Land rolled out more slowly, playing in just five theaters during its opening weekend before gradually expanding to a high of 1,865 this past weekend. It took La La Land five weeks to surpass the opening weekend sales for Titanic, and that's not even adjusting for its higher ticket prices today.
And Titanic had an impact beyond the box office. By the time nominations for the 1998 Oscars were announced, Titanic had transcended from a Hollywood favorite that wowed audiences with technical feats to an iconic movie that had incredible mass appeal. While in retrospect it may be considered a bit corny, Titanic earned pretty solid reviews at its release, and it has an 88 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Since the 1998 Oscars ceremony, which brought Titanic 11 awards, Cameron's movie has spurred numerous cultural touchstones that persist today. The Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet "I'm flying!" scene has been imitated and mocked on TV shows and in movies for years, and whether Leo could have fit on her raft remains an enduring question, one that even the Mythbusters tried to debunk.
Not to mention the role Titanic had in capitulating DiCaprio's career into the realm of blockbuster leading man.
Titanic won for best picture, director, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, original dramatic score, original song, sound, sound effects editing and visual effects. It's tied with Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for the most wins ever.
All About Eve netted six awards: best picture, supporting actor, costume design, director, screenplay and sound mixing.
But just as Titanic's Oscar wins skewed higher because of its memorable music and the and scale of its production, so do La La Land nominations for its musical nature (two of its 14 nominations are in the best original song category, and it also pulled in sound awards) and flashy look (it got noms for production design, costumes and cinematography).
La La Land won seven Golden Globes earlier this year -- a record number. Whatever happens at the Academy Awards next month and beyond, Chazelle's movie has already made history.
 
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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