La La Land leads early Oscars 2017 market

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Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical comedy-drama ‘La La Land’ has been priced as the early market favourite (10/11) to win ‘Best Picture’ at the 89th Academy Awards (date – 26 February 2017).

November sees movie studios begin to release their ‘Oscars contender’ catalogs. With La La Land securing top honours at the Toronto Film Festival, bookmakers believe that Chazelle’s imaginative comedy-drama is currently the best positioned film to win Hollywood’s top movie accolade.

With a price of 10/11, La La Land is currently clear market leader ahead of joint 6/1 second-favourites ‘Birth of a Nation’ (directed by Nate Parker) and ‘Loving’ (directed by Jeff Nichols).

The Academy is yet to produce its official 2016 nominee shortlist. However, following last year’s controversy relating to the lack of ethnic diversity in the awards categories, Hollywood insiders believe that Birth of Nation and Loving, two films depicting America’s racial struggle and history will likely make the Academy’s ‘final 10’ Best Picture shortlist.

Following a socially divisive US Election, Academy judges may place patriotism at the forefront of the 2017 Oscars. If so, Ang Lee’s ‘Billy Lynns Long Halftime Walk’ (priced – 9/1) may likely fit Academy judges’ agendas.

To the intrigue of all movie critics will be controversial film director Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ which was reported to have gained a 10-minute standing ovation at Venice Film Festival.

Gibson’s World War II drama is the director’s first movie in over ten years. Bookmakers have placed Hacksaw Ridge as a 14/1 outsider, noting that the Academy may not be willing to forgive Gibson’s past deeply offensive remarks and racist outbursts.

La La Land Trailer (UK release date – 13 January)

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