Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Documentary Feature

The competition: The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square, Twenty Feet from Stardom

Previous winners: Searching for Sugar Man, Undefeated, Inside Job, The Cove, Man on Wire, Taxi to the Dark Side
My winner: Blackfish
The facts: There isn’t all that much consistency to this category, which usually rewards nonfiction films about highly relevant, hard-hitting topics of the day. This year, we have films about Indonesian gangsters, an endearing old artist couple, war practices, Egypt, and backup singers.

Who should win: None of these make my list, and I haven’t actually had the opportunity to write up three of the contenders, which I had the chance to watch over the past few weeks. “Twenty Feet from Stardom” has an interesting premise but doesn’t quite deliver, and “Dirty Wars” suffers from an excessively arrogant protagonist. “The Square” is a great piece of history but not as solid a documentary film, and “The Act of Killing” has a fascinating subject but not the most involving format. My choice would actually be “Cutie and the Boxer,” which didn’t grab me in its first few minutes but then reached a wonderful point of creativity, telling an endearing story about two very compelling people.
Who will win: It’s a competitive category where anything could feasibly win, but I think that The Act of Killing is ahead of the pack.

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