La La Land is dominating the awards season after a historic haul at the Golden Globes and 11 BAFTA nods – but the film is not assured of Oscars glory.

For a Hollywood-themed musical to quick-step to the heart of the highbrow British Academy is in itself a feat – but nominations and awards are two different things.

At the Globes at the weekend, Damien Chazelle’s film took home acting awards for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, as well as best film.

It was also the stand-out movie at the BAFTA nominations – but things will be far more difficult at the Oscars.

Mainly because, unlike the Golden Globes, the Oscars do not have separate categories for best drama and best musical or comedy.

At the Globes, Gosling and Stone were up against actors such as Hugh Grant, Jonah Hill and Annette Bening in the musical or comedy bracket.

But, at next month’s showpiece event, they will be mixed with some of the year’s strongest drama performances.

This genre division has proven controversial in past years.

In 2015, Matt Damon’s sci-fi epic The Martian won best musical or comedy at the Golden Globes, sparking outrage and mockery from some.

This year, however, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association changed the rules, stopping dramas with comedic overtones being entered in the category.

The change has worked well for La La Land’s cast and director, who have garnered honours without stepping on anyone’s toes.

But, come February, La La Land will be running for the Oscars shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Moonlight, American Honey and Manchester By The Sea.

And, in a year dominated by hard hitting social realism, Damien Chazelle’s dancing tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood may feel a little off.

Most are betting on Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight, the coming-of-age story of a gay black man.

With the Academy still licking its wounds from the #OscarsSoWhite row, it could appease some critics, while also having pulled in some of the year’s strongest reviews.

Moonlight is also the most successful film of the awards season, with 207 nominations and 132 wins so far – despite a disappointing four nominations at the BAFTAs.

Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, another small indie film set against a rough social background, has bagged a total of 85 wins out of 176 nominations.

Casey Affleck picked up a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his part in the project.

More controversial at last weekend’s event was the choice of French actress Isabelle Huppert for best actress in a drama for Elle.

Awarding a gong to Paul Verhoeven’s rape-revenge thriller may be too bold for the Academy – but if nothing else the Globes has set itself apart from its more politically correct rival.

Once a light-hearted version of the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes are no longer seen as a second-tier ceremony.

Closer than ever in size and relevance, the two ceremonies have never been so far apart.

The biggest difference lies in the weight of the voting body.

The Oscars are voted for by the 5,000-plus Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, while the Globes are decided by the 90-member Hollywood Press Association.

It allows the Golden Globes to be a more niche and less political ceremony.

Having the audacity to award Huppert’s role as a rape victim as opposed to Natalie Portman’s portrayal of an iconic First Lady is exactly the kind of move that sets it apart.


(c) Sky News 2017: La La Land’s awards momentum is no guarantee of Oscars glory

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