Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 14th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Citizenfour, Finding Vivian Maier, Last Days in Vietnam, The Salt of the Earth, Virunga

This year’s contenders: Amy, Best of Enemies, Cartel Land, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, He Named Me Malala, Heart of a Dog, The Hunting Ground, Listen to Me Marlon, The Look of Silence, Meru, 3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets, We Come as Friends, What Happened Miss Simone?, Where to Invade Next, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

The rundown: This category has been winnowed down to fifteen finalists already. At this point last year, I had seen four of that crowd, but now I’ve seen just one, so I’ll have to do some catching up after the nominations come out. The one film I have seen is terrific – Best of Enemies. From what I’ve heard and read, Amy and The Look of Silence are the surest things. Going Clear is a good bet, though Alex Gibney has been snubbed in the past. He Named Me Malala is supposed to be great, and I’ve also heard very good things about Listen to Me Marlon. It’s more depressing, to be sure, but 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets is probably a strong contender, as is The Hunting Ground. It’s not a good idea to count out Michael Moore, but Where to Invade Next is far from a sure thing.

One possible crazy scenario: I’m sad to say that what I predicted happening here, “Life Itself” getting snubbed, came true last year. Since I haven’t seen the film, I’ll say the same about Amy missing out since that just seems unfathomable.

Forecasted winner: I think Amy takes it.

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