"La La Land" Takes Toronto. "Jackie" Wins Directorial Prize.

by Ana Maria Bahiana September 18, 2016

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle's La La Land.

Lionsgate

La La Land won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, beating runner-ups Lion and Queen of Katwe. Damien Chazelle’s musical valentine to Los Angeles, already anointed in Venice with a “best actress” laurel for star (and Golden Globe nominee) Emma Stone, has now officially taken the lead in what promises to be a highly competitive awards season.

Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire won the Midnight Madness award, beating the über controversial (and faint-inducing) Raw. The action thriller stars Golden Globe winner Brie Larson, whose career received a substantial upgrade last year thanks to Room winning Toronto’s Audience Award. The Audience Award for documentary went to Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a look into the life and work of author James Baldwin.

The Platform award – the only juried accolade in Toronto – was given to Pablo Larraín’s Jackie. The Platform prize, chosen by a three-person jury led, this year, by Brian De Palma, distinguishes exceptional directorial work and puts one bright shining star on Larraín’s film - and Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman's performance as Jackie Kenndy. Jackie arrived in Toronto without a distributor and exited with an enhanced profile and the power of Fox Searchlight.