“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle took home the award for Best Director Sunday night in Los Angeles. “This was a movie about love, and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it,” said Chazelle, gesturing to his wife.
“La La Land” is a musical about two aspiring artists, a jazz musician and an actress chasing their dreams while living in Los Angeles. It is a send up to the Golden Age of Hollywood, polarizing for being a decidedly apolitical film in the midst of a very political moment. “La La Land” stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie Dewitt and J.K. Simmons. The all original score was written by Justin Hurwitz, with cinematography by Linus Sandgren.
The win is huge for the young director, whose previously directed 2014’s “Whiplash,” which won three Oscars that year. “La La Land” is only Chazelle’s third feature. Chazelle beat out fellow up-and-comer Barry Jenkins, who was nominated for “Moonlight,” as well as other nominees Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea,” Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival,” and Mel Gibson for “Hacksaw Ridge.”
The Academy Awards were held February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. For all of IndieWire’s coverage from the ceremony, click here.