Audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival have awarded director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land the festival's top prize. The modern day movie musical was awarded the annual People’s Choice Award as the festival wrapped up on Sunday night.
La La Land stars Canadian-born actor Ryan Gosling, and actress Emma Stone. The musical tells the story about an aspiring actress (Stone) and a talented jazz musician (Gosling) who fall in love as they struggle to make ends meet in Los Angeles.
The People’s Choice Award at TIFF is seen as an important barometer for the Oscars. The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and 12 Years a Slave are among the past People’s Choice winners that have gone on to win best picture at the Oscars. Last year’s People’s Choice Award went to Lenny Abrahamson's Room and while it may not have ultimately won the Academy Award for best picture, actress Brie Larson did take home the trophy for best actress.
La La Land is slated to open for wide release in December.
Another film that generated serious buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival was Jackie by Chilean director Pablo Larrain. The film which revisits the days following John F. Kennedy’s assassination through the eyes of the former U.S. president’s widowed First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) won TIFF’s Platform Prize, a relatively new prize that champions director’s from around the world.