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2015 Documentary Oscar contenders.

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  • Richard R
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    #183120

    Which documentaries are leading contenders for Oscar.

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    Richard R
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    #183122

    Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief could be the most polarizing film of the year. It certainly will be polarizing within the industry. It paints an unflattering picture of the church and it  will be interesting to see if it can get nominated amid all the controversy.It is from acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney and is airing on HBO. Unfortunately I don’t have HBO so I’ll have to wait and see if it comes out on Netflix or Amazon. The reviews seem to be really good and airing in HBO gives it a big boost. Docs like this can stir up debate and often achieve things that fiction can’t. 

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    Richard R
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    #183123

    Kirby Dick has a doc about campus rape from Radius/TWC that will air on CNN and will be a leading contender. He has done great work previously with the doc Outrage.

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    Richard R
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    #183124

    I forgot to mention the name of the Kirby Dick doc. It is called The Hunting Ground

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    KyleBailey
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    #183125

    I would rename this to 2015 Documentary Oscar Contenders to get action on this forum 

     Going Clear
    The Hunting Ground
    The Wrecking Crew
    Seymour: An Introduction

    Those are the big four as of now.  

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    KyleBailey
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    #183126

    Is Going Clear eligiable for Oscars? Did it play in theaters before HBO? 

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    M H
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    #183127

    Going Clear is based on the wonderful book by the same name. I wonder if the fact that the filmmaker is working with existing information rather than finding his own story will make a difference to voters in the branch. It kind of seems like it might.  

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    Richard R
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    #183128

    I believe Going Clear will have a limited release in theaters but I’m not convinced of it’s eligibility.

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    Richard R
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    #183129

    I renamed the title so it’s not as confusing.

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    Richard R
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    #183130

    Going Clear was in a handful of theaters March 13 and was on HBO March 29.

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    Richard R
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    #183131

    If they are familiar with the filmmaker and like his work then the source material may not matter

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    KyleBailey
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    #183132

    It’s really good. I think if it keeps momentum alive it could get in. 

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    manakamana
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    #183133

    I saw The Hunting Ground at Sundance. I, personally, loved it, but more for how it holds such powerful institutions accountable for their borderline-evil inaction than for its craft elements. I would be surprised to see it still in the conversation of the year’s crème de la crème docs. Lady GaGa could get a song nomination for it, though (I mean, gag, but people seemed to be so impressed that she could hold a note this year lol). 

    Going Clear is fascinating, but I wonder how divisive it will be in the Academy ranks. It’s hard to tell how many of them are under the grasp of Scientology or not, but it is striking that The Master didn’t even get a screenplay nomination. Docs from Sundance I might look out for as being more critical stories throughout the year include The Wolfpack (revelatory Grand Prize winner about a large family who had basically been locked in their Lower East Side apartment throughout adolescence by their father and lived their lives vicariously through cinema), Western (visually striking view of rural America which won prizes at both Sundance and SXSW), 3 1/2 Minutes (very relevant in terms of contemporary race relations and violence against black bodies; got a standing ovation when it won a prize at Sundance), The Russian Woodpecker (fucking incredible look at Ukrainian activism in the face of corruption and increasing Russian aggression), Pervert Park (okay that’s less likely but it’s a challenging look at the US sex offender system that might get a Spirit Award mention) , and (T)ERROR (cold for my tastes, but the access into covert US targeting of American Muslims is striking)

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    KyleBailey
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    #183134

    Iris is playing in select theaters now. I haven’t seen it yet but could Albert Maysles earn a farewell nomination with Iris? 

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    Halo_Insider
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    #183136

    I imagine that The Look of Silence, a follow-up to Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2013 film The Act of Killing, could be a big player. Reception so far, based on its festival run last year, is immensely positive. RT score is currently at 93% (with 14 reviews) and Metacritic is at 91 (based on 9 reviews).

    Also, while it could be a bit out of the Academy’s wheelhouse, I might as well point out that Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck has earned very positive notices. Right now, it’s sitting at 98% on RT (based on 48 reviews) and 84 on Metacritic (19 reviews). Like Going Clear, it debuted in cinemas before being shown on HBO a few weeks later.

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