The makers of “La La Land” have good reason for dancing in the streets: the acclaimed musical has been nominated for 14 Oscars, a record number shared by two other movies — “All About Eve” (1950) and “Titanic.”
And if success on Oscar night can be measured by those two movies, the folks associated with “La La Land” should have plenty of acceptance speeches prepared. “All About Eve,” for instance, racked up six Oscars — best picture, director, supporting actor (George Sanders), screenplay, costume design and sound. “Eve” may have won another Oscar or two if it didn’t have multiple nominations in some categories. Bette Davis said in interviews that she might have gotten her third best actress Oscar if co-star and fellow nominee Anne Baxter had instead campaigned for a supporting actress nod. (Judy Holliday ended up winning for “Born Yesterday.”) Then again, supporting actress votes ended up being split between “Eve” nominees Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter, who lost to Josephine Hull for “Harvey.”
“Titanic” fared even better, tying the record of 11 wins set by “Ben-Hur” (1959) — and matched again by “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” (2003). Like “Eve,” the shipboard romance/disaster epic was also a best picture winner, and scored wins for director, original song (“My Heart Will Go On”), musical score, cinematography, art direction, costume design, sound, film editing, sound effects and visual effects.
With two nominations in the original score category, the most awards “La La Land” can expect to take on Oscar night is 13. A dozen wins would make it the most honored film of all time, but even if it only earns 11, “La La Land” would still rank as the most honored musical, beating the 10 Oscars won by “West Side Story” (1961).