Oscar History

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Dec 01 2015

15 Oscar Documentary Finalists...A Tight Race

Could Marlon Brando return to the Oscars posthumously?亚博主页The documentaryListen to Me Marlonmade the finals for the Best Documentary Oscar even though documentaries about Hollywood stars and movies aren't typically so favorited.Note that Ingrid Bergman's documentary --also famously "in her own words"-- and the enjoyableTab Hunter: Confidentialand the Sundance sensationThe Wolfpackabout living through the movies weren't as lucky and did not make the finals.

The 15 Finalists

Snubbed Again
Frederick Wiseman can't catch a break with the Academy though he's a legend and his latestIn Jackson Heightsmet with the typical rapturous response among critics.

I didn't have to adjust it too much.Why?Well I'm...

Of the 15 I Predicted for the Finalist,9 of them made it so I did pretty well (of the films I predicted for nominations 4 of them are still standing).ByeSherpa!Glenn is even better than me at Documentary predictions.Check out this prediction he tweeted back in October and all the films are still in the running:

Noteable High Profile Omissions
Though these films made a name for themselves at the box office or with honors from various organizations none of them made it to the finals:The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,Dark Horse,Deli Man,Dior and I,Iris,Janis: Little Girl Blue,Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,Meet the Patels,Only the Dead See the End of War,Stray Dog, Sunshine Superman,The Russian Woodpecker,andThe Wolfpack

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Reader Comments (11)

The Bergman documentary didn't deserve to make it in.It needed to be less fawning,more informative.

Yay for AMY and HUNTING GROUND.Extra yay for LOOK OF SILENCE (the film that will hopefully win,or I will be extremely disappointed at whatever stage a hurdle stops it from this endgoal).

Boo to MALALA (it is not an outstanding documentary).

Sad for SHERPA from a nationalistic POV but,even as an Aussie,I have to admit it wasn't as great as others say it is (sorry,Glenn).Would have much preferred it if WOMEN HE'S UNDRESSED was still in the running (still am baffled as to why it didn't even make the long cut).

And sad that IRIS doesn't give Maysles one last hurrah at the Oscars.亚博主页

December 1,2015 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

I am somewhat surprised 'The Wolfpack' didn't make it,seeing how it was about movies in a way,and so affecting emotionally as a story of people denied agency finding it.I haven't seen any of the shortlisted docs,so time for some catch up.I also saw 'Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution',mostly because it is from a part of history I find incredibly compelling,but it was not particularly interesting in composition.

December 1,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I've seen 9 out of the 15 (granted,one of my favorite sub-genres of film).
Even though I love the story in The Wolfpack,I understand why it didn't make it in.In spite of being about movies,it is not very well shot technically;it's not very cinematic,which I believe it's what separates by-the-number,serviceable documentaries (such as The Hunting Ground) from outstanding ones (The Look of Silence).I think it's late enough in the year for me to say that it's the most impressive cinematic achievement of 2015.
No other movie I've seen was able to present such a complicated subject matter,examine human nature so bravely,be precise in its tone,pacing,excel technically in every aspect like The Look of Silence did.Mad Max checks most of these boxes,but it doesn't have enough depth.Also,the main subject in The Look of Silence connected with me on a human level like no other performance could ever do.

December 1,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

I am sad that 'Montage of Heck' didn't make the cut.Aside from it being a great doco,it would have been really enjoyable to see Courtney Love navigate the Oscars red carpet.亚博主页

December 2,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEz

I'm curious if What Happened,Miss Simone?is still Glenn's frontrunner tho.That seems like such a bonkers choice for that spot considering the massive acclaim some of those other titles have behind them.It's not even the best doc about a soul singer this year!

December 2,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

I wouldn't put SIMONE at no.1 anymore,no.I'm still very confident on the other four,but I'd swing between SIMONE or AMY for the final slot.AMY making the shortlist suggests there's certainly support for it,but I just feel like the style of filmmaking and the style of music of MISS SIMONE gives it the edge over something that's harsher like AMY.If that makes sense.

My ranking right now would probably be

1.Cartel Land
2.Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom
3.The Look of Silence
4.Best of Enemies
5.Amy/Nina Simone

I thought HUNTING GROUND would be too much like THE INVISIBLE WAR,but they must be fans.If there's a big spoiler then I'd say HEART OF A DOG,which might be a behind the scenes story that documentarians get behind,but which most other people haven't a clue about.

December 2,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I agree with Glenn on his revised predictions (with Amy nominated,not Nina Simone).Meru and The Hunting Ground are seemingly waiting on the wings.I'd personally love to see Meru,which is a thrilling ride,sneak a spot away from the political docs.

December 2,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Wow.I've seen only What Happened Miss Simone?of this list;I found it difficult and sort of disjointed,even though the subject matter was amazing,so I chose not to write a review.

December 2,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

In a wisp of a dream,I would love to see Frederick Wiseman nominated for Best Director.As one of the all time American greats,he certainly deserves to be there.

December 2,2015 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Although I haven't been able to see them,should Drone,Silenced,or (T)error have had a shot?

December 3,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlen Risdon

Glen,I didn't like (T)ERROR if that's any consolation.Some great investigative journalism,but hardly a well-made film.

December 3,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

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