Damien Chazelle's last film, Whiplash, debuted at Sundance of 2014, hit theaters in October of that year, and powered its way to a Best Picture nomination and three Oscar victories. On the surface it didn't seem like an obvious awards contender, and nor does Chazelle's upcoming musical, La La Land. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Whiplash's J.K Simmons, and was slotted for a release in July, but it seems Summit Entertainment has thought better of that, and have bumped the film to a spot that suggests there may be awards aspirations.
La La Land has been moved to December 2nd, thrusting it right into the middle of the Oscar race. That's just the limited release, though, as it will go wide on December 16th when it will face of against powerhouses Collateral Beauty and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Oof. But unlike other instances where it seems like a studio is dumping a film to get buried, this one has the markings of an attempt at counter-programming, and it may prove a successful gambit.
Summit will be banking heavily on the endless charm of Gosling and Stone to carry this one, which centers on an actress and jazz pianist who try to keep their relationship intact while fighting for their careers in the big city. [EW]