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The bewitching musical "La La Land" starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone won the coveted audience prize of the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday, giving it a leg-up on the competition as the Oscars race takes shape. The joyful, quirky film by writer-director Damien Chazelle about a struggling jazz pianist in Los Angeles and his actor girlfriend pays tribute to the Golden Age of American musicals, honoring classics from "Top Hat" to "Singing in the Rain" to "Grease". In past years, films such as "12 Years a Slave," "The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" have gone from winning TIFF's people's choice award for best picture to take the top honor at the Oscars.Earlier this year, Toronto audience favorite "Spotlight" beat all predictions to win best picture at the Academy Awards.Runners-up for the Toronto prize this year were first-time filmmaker Garth Davis's "Lion," and Mira Nair's "Queen of Katwe" starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.
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