La La Oscarland

By now, we all know La La Land is my favorite film of the year and one of my favorite films of all time. I think it’s a masterpiece and deserves each and every award it garners. Is my opinion biased? Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. But I think we can all agree that is not an “alternative fact” that La La Land rocks. Like or not, it’s hard to call foul on something that looks and sounds this good.

The Academy Award nominations were announced Tuesday and La La Land is up for a whopping 14 Academy Awards. To beat the record held by Titanic, Lord of the Rings and Ben Hur, it will need to win 12 of them. What are the chances of that happening? Let’s break it down.

Best Picture:

I wouldn’t be too surprised if Moonlight shot forward and nabbed this prize but it would be a huge upset. Moonlight is deep and moody (albeit inspiring) and La La Land is pretty and fun (albeit crushing). La La Land is the golden front-runner we all need right now. Entertainment provides an escape at times like this and I think we can all agree an escape is needed now more than ever. That’s 1 on the boards.

Best Director:

There’s a strong campaign for Barry Jenkins to take home this prize but I really think Chazelle should be giving an acceptance speech on Oscar night. Jenkins work is incredible but there is something special and unique about Chazelle’s work in La La Land. That is 2!

Best Actress:

Portman and Stone will battle this out but I think Stone will come out on top. There’s an image… but I digress. Jackie failed to get any other major nominations so the steam has now run out on those hopes. Yes, Portman rocked that performance but for everything she did right as Jackie, we can always raise Stone’s final audition scene and win the hand. That’s 3!

Best Actor:

This is where La La Land won’t pick up a win. That’s ok. Gosling WILL win someday but not for this; Affleck and Washington are the frontrunners here. Sorry, Baby Goose, your time is coming soon!

Best Original Score:

Justin Hurwitz did such an amazing job that I don’t think ANYONE is looking anywhere else. This is a lock. That’s 4!

Best Original Song:

This is tricky because 2 of their tunes garnered a nomination. That could split the votes and cancel them out. City of Stars is memorable and on everyone’s mind but that audition tune is stunning. I’m going to go with La La Land for this win, too, as this is a musical and Best Song should go to the musical, right? So… that’s 5! (If there is a split, there’s a good chance Miranda could become a MacPEGOT and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. That dude is non stop.)

Best Cinematography:

The varied work here is worthy of applause. I can’t think of another film that had as much fun with their look and style as this in years. Sure, other films might look pretty but nothing comes close to La La Land. That’s 6!

Best Original Screenplay:

For a while this was going to be a nail biter between Lonergan and Chazelle but after Chazelle’s win at the Globes, the award is his to lose. The Manchester script is amazing but it’s just now as whimsical as La La Land. See what I said about Best Picture… the same rules apply. That’s 7!

The other awards La La Land is due to pick up include: Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. That makes it 11. What could help bring it to record breaking status?

Best Costume Design:

The chances are not good here. Best Costume Design typically goes to a flashy period flick and not a quasi-modern era film. La Land Land looks ASTONISHING but is it Oscar worthy? It depends on what the voters have to say about the yellow dress and the charming throw-back-to-another-era suits. We will keep it at 11 to be safe.

While I absolutely loved La La Land, I don’t think it will pull ahead and beat the record. I think it has a good chance to tie the record. And what a win for the arts?! La La Land proved to everyone that to be Oscar worthy you don’t have to make someone sad or hate their lives for three hours. It’s possible to have fun at the movies AND win awards.

It will win 11 out of 14 nominations.

What a world!



Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.