We’re handicapping the odds on the nine Best Picture contenders for the Feb. 26 Academy Awards. Today: La La Land.

Quick pitch: A dedicated jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) find love and musical inspiration in a sahabet Hollywood much like the movies — but reality and ambition challenge romance.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie Dewitt.

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Nominations: 14

Key early kudos: BAFTA/Golden Globes/Critics’ Choice Best Film

Box office (domestic, U.S. dollars): $134.7 million.

Ladbrokes odds: 1/8

Paddy Power: 1/7

Sky Bet: 1/10

Why it could win: It has the most nominations and strongest pre-Oscar kudos of all the contenders, usually a sign it will go all the way. And it’s beloved by both critics and regular moviegoers.

Why it might not:La La Land burnout has become a serious issue and the preferential Oscar ballot means a close rival like Moonlight could triumph.

Howell’s line:La LaLand has the heat, but does it have enough momentum to dance into the winner’s circle?

Full review:on.thestar.com/2igP4Q7

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