The triumphant reign of La La Land continued today in London, as the film took BAFTA prizes for Best Film, Best Direction (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress (Emma Stone) Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren) and Best Film Music (Justin Hurwitz).
The first original musical to reach the Oscars in many years, La La Land tied the all-time Oscar record—held by Titanic and All About Eve—with 14 nominations last month, three of which recognize the film’s musical offerings, in the areas of Best Original Score and Best Original Song.
A collaborator of Chazelle’s on three films—including another, earlier jazz musical, the low-budget Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench—composer Justin Hurwitz is considered an Oscar lock by many; and while two original songs represent La La Land in the Original Song category, “City Of Stars” seems the one to beat.
One of the first songs that came together for Hurwitz and his collaborators—Broadway lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul—“City of Stars” has also been the most propulsive, so far taking prizes at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, along with accolades from various critics bodies.
In “City Of Stars,” Ryan Gosling’s moody jazz club owner Sebastian strolls and whistles his way down the Hermosa Beach Pier, set against the kind of gorgeous magic hour backdrop that Sandgren captures so skillfully. Gosling then joins Emma Stone’s aspiring actress, Mia, for an intimate collaborative moment at the piano.
To see and hear the budding of this musical romance for yourself, check out the scene above.