That lofty tally of 11 is held by “Titanic,” “Ben-Hur” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.” That “LOTR” achievement was especially spectacular since it went undefeated. “La La Land” can’t do that because it competes against itself in the race for Best Song.
According to the predictions of 28 Experts polled by Gold Derby prior to noms being rolled out, “La La Land” was projected to win 9 categories: Best Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, Score, Sound Mixing and Song.
So what about the other 4 categories in which it competes? Forget Best Actor. No Expert expects Ryan Gosling to prevail. Most of our Oscarologists pick Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”), 4 opt for Denzel Washington (“Fences”).
Therefore, “La La Land” must triumph in 2 of its remaining 3 races: Original Screenplay, Sound Editing and Costumes.
Original Screenplay: It’s tough. Voters don’t like scripts that are sung. Even Best Picture winner “Chicago” lost. You’ve got to go back to the 1950s to see musicals snagging script contests (“Gigi,” “An American in Paris”) and those probably prevailed thanks to being part of a Best Picture sweep. Yet that could happen if there is a “La La Land” juggernaut. After all, award-watchers were thunderstruck when “La La Land” bagged every category at the recent Golden Globes, including – egads – Best Screenplay.
Best Costumes: “La La Land” is within striking distance. Sixteen of our Experts predict “Jackie” will win, 11 say “La La Land.”
Sound Editing: Maybe, if there’s a resounding sweep. Usually, the loudest movies win the sound awards (war films), so “Hacksaw Ridge” has the early edge with 16 Experts. But “La La Land” has 5 backers. “La La Land” is the overwhelming fave for Best Sound Mixing because musicals usually take that slot. Voters often like to pair up both categories (like “Mad Max” last year) – so “La La Land” fans have reason for hope.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.