“La La Land” wins top Critics’ Choice award

“La La Land,” Casey Affleck and Natalie Portman take the top Critics’ Choice awards.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 11, 2016) (BROADCASTERS) – “La La Land,” a modern day musical set in Los Angeles and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, took the top award, for best picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday (December 11).

The film was the most nominated of the evening and scooped up eight awards in total, including best director for Damien Chazelle.

Chazelle thanked Stone and Gosling for their work on the movie.

“Singing, dancing, Ryan learning piano, Emma doing her biggest numbers completely live. Both of you giving more than I ever could have expected from actors and giving just the most transporting performances I’ve ever been lucky enough to film,” he said, accepting the award.

Casey Affleck took home the best actor award for independent drama “Manchester by the Sea,” about a working-class American family dealing with multiple tragedies. Lucas Hedges was awarded best young actor/actress for his role in the film, which has become an early front-runner in Hollywood’s awards season.

The best actress award went to Natalie Portman for her critically acclaimed performance as former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in “Jackie.” The film attempts to get behind Kennedy’s mystique by blending factual events with imagination in the week after the 1963 assassination of her husband, President John. F. Kennedy.

The best supporting actor trophy went to Mahershala Ali for his role in “Moonlight,” a film about a young black impoverished man’s struggle with his sexuality that is being touted as a frontrunner in the Oscars best picture race.

Viola Davis took home the best supporting actress award for her role in “Fences,” based on the award-winning play by August Wilson.

Davis thanked star Denzel Washington for his leadership on the film.

“The leader, the captain — Denzel Washington, who said the two scariest words an actor can ever hear which was ‘trust me’. And usually that’s because you can’t trust a lot of people with a performance in this business. But we trusted you, you delivered as a leader and you’ve made us proud. And most importantly you’ve made August proud,” she said.

The show was hosted by actor T.J. Miller, who made headlines on Friday (December 9 )after he was arrested in Los Angeles because of an altercation with his Uber driver.

Miller alluded to the headlines as part of his opening monologue, without directly addressing the arrest.

“Let’s talk about the real elephant in the room. Everyone’s been asking me about it all weekend. People were asking me about it on the blue carpet and, yes, OK yes, it is the first anniversary of a chorus line on Broadway,” he said, to laughter from the audience.

Earlier in the evening, he had tweeted, “Tonight I will address the elephant in the room at @CriticsChoice on A&E. Tune in and find out.”

The Critics’ Choice Awards are chosen by the 300-plus members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA).