Damien Chazelle's La La Land had a tremendous night at the Golden Globes, winning every category it was up for an essentially steamrolling the competition as it positioned itself as an Oscar frontrunner. Yes, Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood, but the victories put a special stamp on the crowning achievements of Chazelle's winning musical. In the process of claiming all seven Globes it was nominated for, La La Land broke the record for the most number of trophies ever won by a film at the Golden Globes. The previous record was six.
"But this sort of thing happens all of the time!" naysayers are probably muttering. Well, no. The only two films to claim six total Golden Globes awards were One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) and Midnight Express (1978), according to the L.A. Times. Which puts Damien Chazelle's La La Land in pretty amazing company.
Part of the reason why it's so difficult to clean sweep the Golden Globes is because they split their trophies between film and television, so there are only so many awards that one movie can win. In addition, in the film side of the equation, there are separate categories for Drama and Comedy/Musical. Meaning that a movie like La La Land -- once it has been categorized as a Musical -- can't contend for more awards that are reserved for dramatic fare. On that side of the equation, Moonlight took home the top prize.
But La La Land clean-sweeped all of the categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It was the film's final two wins, for Best Score and Best Song, that pushed it over the top, and allowed it to claim victories that Cuckoo's Nest and Midnight Express couldn't lay claim to.
La La Land is a modern musical that tells the whimsical story of two dreamers, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who are trying to make it in Los Angeles as an actor and jazz pianist, respectively, but running into dramatic and romantic obstacles. It is a breathtaking mix of joy and sadness, of first love and broken dreams. And as we wrote last night, we believe that it is the film to beat at the Academy Awards... if it can maintain its current momentum.
The challenge lies in sustaining these early wins. La La Land took home top prize at the Critics' Choice Awards, and now the Golden Globes. But other films, like Moonlight for example, have plenty of support, and now can take full aim at the target on Damien Chazelle's back. Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday, January 24. We'll see how many La La Land scores, and reassess the race at that time.