The Oscar shortlist landed yesterday and gave us some insight into Documentary Feature we can take moving forward into the final period before Oscar nomination voting begins. I still think that critics’ fave Apollo 11 is in danger here; this branch loves to snub a frontrunner and the film is entirely archival footage. It’s a masterstroke of editing, for sure, but will they forsake it for something more important? A film like For Sama, for example, which I’m moving all the way to the top spot. As a journey into the female experience of the Syrian war, and a winner of multiple awards (including Best Film at BIFA), this could be right up the doc branch’s alley.
I’ve moved Midnight Family into my top 5 this month as it’s a film that’s been making quiet but important moves in the various documentary races and it definitely hits some contemporary themes of class and status (the way that Parasite does, but in a very different way) that could hit just right.
Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Documentary Feature for December 17, 2019.
Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry
1. For Sama (PBS)
2. American Factory (Netflix)
3. Apollo 11 (Neon)
4. One Child Nation (Amazon)
5. Midnight Family (1901 Media)
OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)
Advocate (Film Movement)
The Apollo (HBO Docs)
Aquarela (Sony Classics)
The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)
The Cave (National Geographic)
The Edge of Democracy (Netflix)
The Great Hack (Netflix)
Knock Down The House (Netflix)
Maiden (Sony Classics)