Musical fans have been counting down the minutes until La La Land — the dreamy, gorgeous song-and-dance epic starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — opens, an event that'll have us time-stepping toward theaters this December. Now they've got more to look forward to, as the film just won a huge honor that bodes well for its chances at the 2017 Academy Awards.
La La Land took home the coveted People's Choice award at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, which is handed over to the picture that viewers voted on over the course of the movie marathon's 10 days.
Basically, when members of the audience walk out of any given screening at TIFF, they can vote for the best thing they saw by taking their ticket stub and filing it in the fest's equivalent of a ballot box at the theater. (They can vote online, too, but the latter option totally isn't as fun.)
Historically, the People's Choice winner at TIFF has gone on to do well at the Oscars: The Hollywood Reporter points out that 12 Years a Slave and Slumdog Millionaire both took home the prize, as did Room, which netted Brie Larson her Best Actress statuette in 2015.
La La Land boasts not only a flawless leading couple in Stone and Gosling, but a superlative crew, too: Damien Chazelle sits in the director's chair for this one, and it's his first directorial effort since 2014's Whiplash, which scored him Oscar noms of his own for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
Based on the talent involved, a heavy award season presence for La La Land was pretty much guaranteed. Now, thanks to the crowds at TIFF, that's a promise.