The 89th Academy Awards Ceremony is about two and a half months away. The ceremony, which will take place on February 26th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, means to recognize the best films from the 2016 calendar year in numerous categories. Currently the favorite to win the coveted "Best Picture" award is Damien Chazelle's "La La Land," a film that has a release date of December 16th.

So far, well reviewed by critics

As is clear from the official trailer and a review from USA Today (December 5th), the soon-to-be released film is a musical - something that is surprising given that it is the favorite to win Best Picture.

Brian Truitt, writing for USA Today, offered a very solid review of the film: "Damien Chazelle improves on his splendid 2014 film Whiplash by crafting a fabulous old-school Hollywood musical....A clear favorite in the Oscar best-picture race, La La Land is both delightful confection and life-affirming food for the soul." Bet365, the sports book, makes the film an even-odds favorite to win Best Picture against the field with "Manchester by the Sea" the 2nd favorite at 4 to 1.

The last musical that won Best Picture was "Chicago" in 2003.

Prior to that year's awards, you had to go back all the way to the 1960s to find another precedent of a musical winning. Back then, it was common for the musical genre to win Best Picture with "The Sound of Music" (1965) and "West Side Story" (1961) both winning Best Picture at about that time, among others. However, since the '60s only "Chicago" stands out as a Best Picture winner while Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (1991) is another bright light.

Reviews at IMDB are generally positive for "La La Land." Thus far it has received an average rating of 8.5 out of 10, based on a meaningful 2183 IMBD users (December 5th). The film has already won the Best Film of 2016 from the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Furthermore, the Los Angeles Film Critic Association awarded it their Best Music/Score.

The official trailer for the film

Emma Stone's character Mia starts out at an audition where she is quickly rejected and offered no second chance. She is then seen wondering the streets where she happens upon a jazz club where Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, is playing the piano. He gets fired in the trailer, on Christmas, and the theme of employment rejection creates a similarity between the two characters. True love, music, and dancing soon follows.

Christmas is always a lonely time of year for singles and perhaps this film will be appealing to someone who has the Christmas-time blues. I felt that there was at least a small connection to "When Harry Met Sally" while watching the trailer and not just because of the holiday-time setting.

At one point, Sebastian references how he and Mia keep bumping into each other, a point that Harry makes in Rob Reiner's film with Sally and one that is taken to mean that their romance is simply in the stars.

It will be interesting to see how this film is received when it hits the theaters. I'm guessing the pundits and those privileged with advanced-screening tickets might appreciate a musical for what it is more than your typical movie-goer. If that's true and "La La Land" is not a major box office success, it will be interesting to see if that in turn affects it's status as Best Picture favorite.

However, at present the film is a generally well-received work with a quickly-approaching release date.

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