Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: ANIMATED & DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (September)


Is it just me or does this year’s crop of animated feature contenders seem…meh? Packed with sequels, some of which were big critical and box office hits (Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4) and others that came and went with a whimper (Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2). The Academy hasn’t been kind to animated sequels as winners but as nominees, sure. The big exception being the massive blockbuster Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory (the follow up to Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo) which found itself belly up. To the rescue we have two acclaimed non-US films with Netflix’s I Lost My Body and GKIDS’ Weathering With You. Then there’s the question: will Disney run The Lion King here? Doubtful as they keep pushing the idea that it’s live-action (it’s not) but I can see them trying to double dip here and in Visual Effects.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Animated Feature for September 16, 2019.

1. Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
2. Frozen 2 (Disney)
3. Weathering With You (GKIDS)
4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks)
5. I Lost My Body (Netflix)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

The Swallows of Kabul (TBA)
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Warner Bros)
Missing Link (LAIKA/Annapurna/UAR)
Spies in Disguise (Blue Sky)
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Illumination/Universal)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

The Addams Family (MGM/UAR)
The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily (TBA)
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (GKIDS)
Children of the Sea (GKIDS)
Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie (Aardman/Lionsgate)
Klaus (Netflix)
Marona’s Fantastic Tale (TBA)
The Thousand Miles (TBA)
Where Is Anne Frank? (TBA)
White Snake (GKIDS)
Wish Dragon (Sony Pictures Animation)
The Wolf House (TBA)


The Lion King (Disney)


Documentary Feature is always a category we want to predict hits, both critical and financial, but the insular voting body always has different ideas. Year after year, even after rule changes and reforms, the doc branch snubs major contenders. Three Identical Strangers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Jane, Blackfish, Life Itself. All films that any and everyone would have predicted to make it in but gets the football pulled away at the last second like Charlie Brown and Lucy. Any number of my predicted films could fall to that and I can guarantee that at least one will.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Documentary Feature for September 16, 2019.

1. American Factory (Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar) Netflix
2. Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller) Neon
3. One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang) Amazon
4. Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov)
5. Maiden (Alex Holmes) Sony Classics

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

Diego Maradona (Asif Kapadia)
For Sama (Waad Al-Khateab and Edward Watts)
Gaza (Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell)
Sea of Shadows (Richard Ladkani)
Where’s My Roy Cohn? (Matt Tyrnauer)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

17 Blocks (Davy Rothbart)
A Dog Called Money (Seamus Murphy)
Advocate (Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche)
Always in Season (Jacqueline Olive)
The Apollo (Roger Ross Williams)
Ask Dr. Ruth (Ryan White)
Bedlam (Kenneth Paul Rosenberg)
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (Mads Bruegger)
The Edge of Democracy (Petra Costa)
Everybody’s Everything (Ramez Silyan and Sebastian Jones)
Framing John DeLorean (Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce)
Gay Chorus Deep South (David Charles)
The Great Hack (Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim)
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane)
Halston (Frédéric Tcheng)
The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (Alex Gibney)
Knock Down The House (Rachel Lears)
Lapu (Juan Pablo Polanco and César Alejandro Jaimes)
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein)
Lorena (Joshua Rofé)
The Magic Life Of V (Tonislav Hristov)
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (Midge Costin)
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (Nick Broomfield)
Meeting Gorbachev (Werner Herzog)
MERATA: How Mum Decolonised The Screen (Heperi Meta)
Midnight Family (Luke Lorentzen)
Midnight Traveler (Hasan Fazili)
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Stanley Nelson Jr)
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness In Three Movements (Irene Taylor Brodsky)
Muhammad Ali (Ken Burns)
Penguins (Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson)
The Projectionist (Abel Ferrara)
Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins (Janice Engel)
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (Matt Wolf)
Rewind (Sasha Joseph Neulinger)
Roll Red Roll (Nancy Schwartzman)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story (Martin Scorsese)
Scheme Birds (Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin)
Serendipity (Prune Nourry)
Shooting the Mafia (Kim Longinotto)
Superpower Dogs (Daniel Ferguson)
This Is Personal (Amy Berg)
Tigerland (Ross Kauffman)
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
Untouchable (Ursula Macfarlane)
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali (Antoine Fuqua)
Words from a Bear (Jeffrey Palmer)

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