Director screams as 'La La Land' gets most Oscar noms

Updated 2017-01-25 13:50:46
Director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling appear on stage at a press conference held in Beijing to promote their film La La Land in China, Jan. 24, 2017.

Director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling appear on stage at a press conference held in Beijing to promote their film "La La Land" in China, Jan. 24, 2017.

Director Damien Chazelle said he screamed in Beijing on Tuesday after he heard his critically applauded film "La La Land" got 14 Oscar nominations, the most ever in history.

"It's really unbelievable," he said, "Just after it was announced, my girlfriend got a text message and told me how many nominations we'd gotten, I had to ask her literally three times before I actually believed her. We're all at this hotel in Beijing to promote the movie, so we quickly ran down the hall to Ryan [Gosling]'s room and barged in. He had Emma [Stone] on Facetime on his phone, so we just kind of screamed in each other's faces for a few minutes."

"This is beyond any of our wildest imaginings and we can't wait to celebrate together," Emma Stone also said with excitement later.

"La La Land," Damien Chazelle's showbiz musical about a love story between an aspiring Hollywood actress and a struggling jazz musician, tied the all-time record for most nominations for a single film, 14, the same number received by 1950's "All About Eve" and 1997's "Titanic."

It's nominated in 13 categories including best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best lead actor and actress for its two stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, while two songs from the movie were nominated for the best original song award. It was followed by science-fiction "Arrival" and coming-of-age drama "Moonlight," tied at eight nominations each.

32-year-old Chazelle, who made "Whiplash" in 2014, may potentially become the youngest director ever to win the best director award at the award ceremony on Feb. 26.

The film has taken more than 120 awards across the world, including winning every category it was nominated for at the 74th Golden Globe Awards with a record-breaking seven wins.

The director and Ryan Gosling are now in Beijing to promote the film, which will debut in China on Feb. 14. The film is presented by Summit Entertainment and China Film Co. will distribute it with Bai An Pictures (Shanghai) Co. and Joy Pictures.

Chazelle said at the Beijing press conference that he prefered "La La Land" to "Whiplash," since the former was his "dream project" and six years in the making.

The film's prospects in the Chinese market are good due to the award-winning and Oscar buzz, but how far it can go is still unknown, as Chinese audiences are mostly not fans of musicals. But to make the film as successful as possible in China, Joy Pictures also coordinated four powerful players -- Wanda Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Sina Entertainment and iQiyi Motion Pictures -- to form a colliation to promote it.

Chinese critics have also given it unanimous praises after advanced screenings yesterday, while film distributors hope to recreate a cultural phenomenon as big as "Titanic" was in China, setting the Chinese release date on St. Valentine's Day and claiming "the world is touched again by love after 20 years since 'Titanic'" in its Chinese poster.

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