La La Land scores 14 Oscar nominations

La La Land the musical had earlier broken the record for the maximum number of nominations at the Golden Globes. Now, with 14 Oscar nominations, it is on par with All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997) for the maximum nods.

Here are six things you might not know about this musical which everyone’s agog over (except the Indians, because for us each one of our films is a musical, so…) Nevertheless,

  1. Emma Watson turned down the role of Mia (which eventually went to Emma Stone) because she was doing the film Beauty and the Beast. And Ryan Gosling was supposed to have played the role of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast but had to let it go because he was doing La La Land. Hmm…that’s freaky coincidence.
  2. Initially, the studios weren’t convinced about Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land. Musical? And that too about Jazz? No way, they told him. Some said they would consider if he were to turn Ryan’s jazz musician character into a rock musician. But Damien stood his ground. Now, that’s what I would say is a ‘Rocky-moment’. Remember Rocky and Sylvester Stallone?
  3. Damien and Justin Hurwitz (the composer of the film) studied together at Harvard University. Damien came up with the idea for the movie when he was studying at Harvard. Damien also came up with Whiplash during this time. Now, if you haven’t seen Whiplash, watch it immediately. What a beautiful, beautiful film! And when Whiplash became a hit and garnered awards, people were tripping over themselves to make a movie with Damien, and La La Land came to light.
  4. There’s a scene in the film where Emma Stone goes for an audition, and the casting director takes a phone call midway through the audition. Well, this happened to Ryan Gosling when he did the studio rounds auditioning parts before he became a big-ticket star. Ryan related this to Damien who promptly added it to the script.
  5. The opening number of the film is a six-minute long scene on a freeway ramp in Los Angeles. It took them two days, a hundred dancers and many cars to shoot the scene. The freeway was shut down for one weekend.
  6. There’s no piano double in any of the shots. It’s all Ryan, all the way. For months together practised piano-playing for two hours/ six days a week, so that he could pass off as a Jazz musician. Well, all that hard work has finally paid off eh!