Friday, January 21, 2011

Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary

Last year’s nominees: Burma VJ, The Cove, Food Inc, The Most Dangerous Man in America, Which Way Home

This year’s locks: Waiting for Superman

Very likely: Inside Job, Exit through the Gift Shop

Possible: Restrepo, Client 9, The Tillman Story, Precious Life, Enemies of the People, Gasland, Quest for Honor

Unlikely: Waste Land, Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, This Way of Life, The Lottery

Ineligible: 11/4/08, The Art of the Steal, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Catfish, Countdown to Zero, Freakonomics: The Movie, Highwater, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel, Severe Clear, Smash His Camera, Waiting for Armageddon, When You’re Strange

The rundown: I feel more equipped than ever before to take on this category due to the fact that I’ve seen six of the fifteen eligible films, and before the nominations even came out! Looking at the lists from the previous four years, I’ve only seen twelve total, and eleven of them were nominees. Of course, the shortlist of fifteen still manages to leave off a bunch of great docs, listed above. This is a highly unpredictable category, but let’s try to do our best, shall we? I’ve broken it down in terms of what I’ve heard about certain films and the subjects of other that haven’t garnered much buzz. “Waiting for Superman” seems like a solid bet, and I can’t imagine that the hugely similar but not as good “The Lottery” would also be nominated (hence its last place ranking). Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. It’s always hard to determine whether voters will consider production value or subject material more strongly. If you’ve seen any of the nine films that I haven’t, please weigh in with your comments to held provide as complete a look at this category as possible.

Forecasted winner: “Waiting for Superman”

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