La La director 'in shock' over Oscar nods
28 Jan 2017 - 3:16
Tokyo: The director of hit romantic musical "La La Land" said yesterday he was jolted and honoured when he learned that his film had earned a record 14 Oscar nominations.
Damien Chazelle's whimsical tribute to Hollywood's Golden Age of musicals topped the Academy Award nominations list on Tuesday, tying an all-time record set by "All About Eve" and "Titanic".
"It was a little bit of a shock and it was a huge honour," Chazelle told a press conference a day after the film's Japan premiere.
The movie scored nods for best picture, best director and acting nominations for its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Its 10 other nominations came in nine categories.
"Ryan and I were staying in the same hotel when we found the news, so we were able to celebrate together with champagne," Chazelle said.
Gosling stressed the "collaborative" nature of the production.
"If you're lucky enough to be recognised in this way for your film in most cases only a few people are singled out," the Canadian actor said. "So to see so many our collaborators recognised just really made it that much more special."
When asked if he had included any references to other films in the production that have gone unnoticed, Chazelle said he might have borrowed something from a Japanese yakuza movie from the 1960s. "I feel like I took a little from this Japanese movie "Tokyo Drifter" by Seijun Suzuki and his whole kind of oeuvre of movies," Chazelle said.
"His super wide frames and very pop-art colours -- they feel like musicals to me, but with guns."
"Maybe that's like a kind of hidden homage, at least not one that anyone in the US would get."
Chazelle and Gosling also participated in a ritual ceremony and cracked open a wooden sake barrel, hoping for the movie's success in Japan.
"This was such a labour of love to make and it was a real team effort," said 32-year old director Chazelle, who is poised to become the youngest ever Best Director Oscar winner.
"There were an incredible number of people who came together at the heights of their crafts and really pushed themselves beyond their limit to make this film. So I was really pleased that so many of those people got recognized", he said before breaking open a celebratory barrel of sake with Gosling.
"La La Land" became the movie to beat at the Academy Awards after earning 14 nominations on Tuesday, in a diverse list that silenced the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of the last two years.
With nominations that include best picture, actor, actress, director, score and screenplay, the musical about a struggling actress, played by Emma Stone, and her jazz pianist boyfriend, played by Gosling, equalled the record set by the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" and the 1950 film "All About Eve".
"La La Land" will vie for Best Picture Oscar with black coming-of-age movie "Moonlight", and sci-fi film "Arrival" each with eight nods, Mel Gibson's Hollywood comeback war movie "Hacksaw Ridge", dramas "Manchester by the Sea", "Hidden Figures", and "Lion", modern western "Hell or High Water" and Denzel Washington's adaptation of stage play "Fences".
The musical, which has raked $174m worldwide, will be released in Japan on February 24.