The big story with these three categories is the chance for Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee to make Oscar history and be nominated in all three. 2019’s Honeyland made history by making it into Documentary Feature and International Feature Film. 2008’s Waltz with Bashir made the (then called) Foreign Language Film category but after landing BAFTA nods for both animated and film not in the English language, it missed both animated and documentary at the Oscars.
Animated Feature seems pretty cut and dry with Encanto and Luca, the only films to hit every precursor, plus Flee and The Mitchells vs. the Machines all in good shape. Raya and the Last Dragon only missed BAFTA (they only had four nominees this year) but still feels safe. But you know what’s lurking? Sing 2 stopped Flee from making a clean precursor sweep at PGA but the latter competed as a documentary and was nominated there. While Sing 2 missed the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and BAFTA it slowly accrued several guild nods across multiple categories and it could be Flee’s undoing as this may be where it’s most vulnerable.
Documentary Feature has probably two true locks then a wide, wide open race. As I mentioned in my film editing predictions, I’m standing by my thought that Summer of Soul, the most-awarded documentary of the year, will be snubbed as per the doc branch’s demonstrable aversion to both archival footage films or whatever is the overwhelming favorite. That’s two strikes against the film, which won the Critics Choice for best documentary feature, a curse if there ever was one, but doesn’t deserve to be omitted. It could absolutely still make it in and buck the trend and if it does, it will be one of the easiest winner predictions of the night.
International Feature Film might be the richest its been in years but that also makes it one of the toughest. While some films seem safe: Drive My Car, Flee, The Hand of God, A Hero…you can’t ever get too comfortable here. The ever-changing rules of this category, which currently has one group review the submissions and decide on the shortlist and another that views those finalists that give us our five nominees. But, those preliminary groups could come from anywhere in the Academy, from any branch. That sometimes gives us more surprising inclusions like Hong Kong’s Better Days or Tunisia’s The Man Who Sold His Skin last year over higher profile films from France, Mexico and Czech Republic. I know I have to play it a bit safe here but watch out for Belgium’s Playground and/or Bhutan’s Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom to provide some shocking upsets on Oscar nomination morning.
26 animated films were eligible in this category. Academy members who are part of the Short Films and Feature Animation branch were eligible to vote in the category.
1. Encanto (Walt Disney) – GG, CCA, Annie, BAFTA, PGA
2. Luca (Walt Disney/Pixar) – GG, CCA, Annie, BAFTA, PGA
3. The Mitchells vs the Machines (Netflix) – CCA, Annie, BAFTA, PGA
4. Flee (NEON) – GG, CCA, Annie (Indie), EFA, BAFTA
5. Raya and the Last Dragon (Walt Disney) – GG, CCA, Annie, PGA
6. Sing 2 (Universal Pictures) – Annie, PGA
7. Belle (GKIDS) – Annie (Indie)
8. The Summit of the Gods (Netflix) – Annie (Indie)
9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios)
10. Vivo (Netflix)
15 films advanced in the Documentary Feature category for the 94th Academy Awards.
138 films were eligible in the category. Members of the Documentary Branch voted to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
1. Flee (NEON) – CEH, CCA, DOC NYC, Gotham, IDA, EFA, PGA, BAFTA
2. The Rescue (NatGeo) – CEH, CCA, DOC NYC, PGA, BAFTA
3. Ascension (MTV Documentary Films) – CEH, CCA, DOC NYC, Gotham, IDA, PGA
4. Faya Dayi (Janus Films) – CEH, CCA, DOC NYC, Gotham, IDA
5. Procession (Netflix) – CCA, DOC NYC
6. Summer of Soul (Searchlight Pictures/Hulu) – CEH, CCA, IDA, PGA, BAFTA
7. The First Wave (NEON) – PGA
8. In the Same Breath (HBO Documentary Films) – IDA, PGA
9. Attica (Showtime) – CCA
10. The Velvet Underground (Apple Original Films) – CEH
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
15 films will advance to the next round of voting in the International Feature Film category
for the 94th Academy Awards. Films from 92 countries were eligible in the category.
Academy members from all branches were invited to participate in the preliminary round of
voting and must have met a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category.
In the nominations round, Academy members from all branches are invited to opt in to
participate and must view all 15 shortlisted films to vote.
1. Drive My Car (Japan) – GG, CCA, BAFTA
2. The Hand of God (Italy) – EFA, GG, CCA, BAFTA
3. A Hero (Iran) – GG, CCA
4. Flee (Denmark) – CCA
5. Playground (Belgium)
6. Compartment No. 6 (Finland)
7. The Worst Person in the World (Norway) – BAFTA
8. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
9. Prayers for the Stolen (Mexico)
10. I’m Your Man (Germany)