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Can “Finding Vivian Maier” upset “Citizenfour” for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar?

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  • Tariq Khan
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    #176723


    I finally finished watching all of the Oscar-nominated
    documentary features, and I’m wondering if “Finding Vivian Maier” can pull off
    an upset over “Citizenfour.” They’re obviously quite different, but the race
    reminds me of last year when “20 Feet from Stardom” competed against “The Act
    of Killing.” “Killing” was certainly more powerful and felt important, but eventual
    Oscar winner “Stardom” was more entertaining and easier to watch.


    I’ve spoken to two Academy members who have seen most of the
    documentary nominees, and they seemed to love “Vivian” and suggested to me that
    they’ll probably be voting for it. (I’m going to try and poll many more voters
    in the coming weeks.)


    For those of you who have seen all (or most) of the doc nominees,
    do you think that “Vivian” has a chance? How strongly do you feel about “Citizenfour?”
    Or perhaps “Virunga” is a stronger contender than people realize?


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  


    Reply
    M: The Original
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    #176725

    I realize this is the doc that unseated Ebert’s movie. It certainly could be the viable alternative to Citizen Four which seems to have passion strictly for political reasons.

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    GusCruz
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    #176726

    “Vivian Maier” is one of 5 worst documentaries I watched this decade, which means yes, it could definitely win!

    Now seriously, I doubt they are going to be stupid not to award Citizenfour, a film for the ages, and instead choose a documentary that has nothing unique about it (Virunga and Last Days in Vietnam are fine, but anyone could’ve made them). I hope not. Laura Poitras deserves the win

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    GusCruz
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    #176727

    I realize this is the doc that unseated Ebert’s movie. It certainly could be the viable alternative to Citizen Four which seems to have passion strictly for political reasons.

    I’m pretty sure Salt of the Earth was #5

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    seabel
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    #176728

    Absolutely not. CITIZENFOUR is winning, specially with LIFE ITSELF snubbed.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #176729

    I haven’t seen Salt of the Earth yet, but Citizenfour is easily the best of the bunch from what I’ve seen. It absolutely deserves to win, and likely will win.

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    vinny
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    #176730

    I have only seen is Virunga but I saw this one on the on demand menu and it sounded interesting-ish.

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    babypook
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    #176731

    I havent seen Salt of the Earth or Virunga yet, the latter which I’m afraid to watch, but from the ones I’ve seen (all the others plus some not nominated), I think the ‘safe’ money is on Citizen4, an important, brave doc from the harassed Poitras which we all should view.

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    AviChristiaans
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    #176732


    I finally finished watching all of the Oscar-nominated
    documentary features, and I’m wondering if “Finding Vivian Maier” can pull off
    an upset over “Citizenfour.” They’re obviously quite different, but the race
    reminds me of last year when “20 Feet from Stardom” competed against “The Act
    of Killing.” “Killing” was certainly more powerful and felt important, but eventual
    Oscar winner “Stardom” was more entertaining and easier to watch.


    I’ve spoken to two Academy members who have seen most of the
    documentary nominees, and they seemed to love “Vivian” and suggested to me that
    they’ll probably be voting for it. (I’m going to try and poll many more voters
    in the coming weeks.)


    For those of you who have seen all (or most) of the doc nominees,
    do you think that “Vivian” has a chance? How strongly do you feel about “Citizenfour?”
    Or perhaps “Virunga” is a stronger contender than people realize?


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  


    I have seen all 5. I’m personally hoping for a Virunga upset (i promise it has nothing to do with Leo Dicaprio’s involvement LOL). Virunga is personal, having visited the National Park quite a few times. The passion behind the park, the campaign is remarkable. Just as important is Citizenfour. Beautifully filmed, and quite accessible.

    The Salt of the Earth is unfortunately the most least accessible documentary of the bunch. If you don’t appreciate photography, the cinematography and the beautiful story behind the great Sebastiao Salgado, you will probably find it boring. One of my favorites.

    Finding Vivian Maier is the Stories We Tell of this year. The writing is unsurpassed. The story is fascinating. It stays with you, and the subject matter isn’t hard hitting and serious. A real crowd pleaser. If enough voters give it the time of day, it could very well pull off that upset. I doubt it though. Still love the fact that the committee chose both Maier and The Salt of the Earth.

    I believe out of all of them, Citizenfour is the most high profile and well known of the bunch. If voters are lazy, Citizenfour will win. The Act of Killing was way too hard hitting and a serious watch for AMPAS voters.. 20 Feet from Stardom was the best alternative. Entertaining and thoughtful.

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    CanadianFan
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    #176733

    I found ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ quite average, but was blown away by ‘Virunga’. 

    I think ‘Virunga’ has a lot more heart than ‘Citizenfour’ as well, so the comparison is more apt regarding ’20 Feet from Stardom’. 

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    Ryan Lapierre
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    #176734

    Nope it cannot. This oscar will go to Citizenfour. If not then Virunga.

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    Denton
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    #176735

    I ended up being quite bored by “Virunga” and “Finding Vivian Maier” was easily my favorite documentary of the year.  Hard to say if it can win though.  At this point it’s just hopeful thinking on my part.  I missed the boat on seeing “CitizenFour” though!  It’s not on DVD yet and it’s out of theaters so I’ll probably just have to deal with not seeing that one before the Oscars.

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    Atypical
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    #176736

    “Citizenfour” is in my top 10 of 2014, so we’ll see if something else in this category can surpass it. I think it’s the major frontrunner with no “Life Itself” to be found.

    I’m seeing “Finding Vivian Maier” next week.

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    Filmatelist
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    #176737

    It’s really hard for me to see how it could win.  Films that win this category usually have either (1) a huge historic or thematic angle, or (2) a real emotional component.  Of the last 10 winners, I’d say they split fairly evenly between the two categories, but of the ones that won based on the emotional component, it’s because the players who were involved in the story are there to share their perspective and memories firsthand.

    VIVIAN is a fascinating subject, no doubt, but it’s more about a personality than a major event or movement.  And that personality, by the end of the film, remains opaque and inscrutable.  It certainly was eye-opening to me about her productivity and artistry, but while the story orbits around her, it is as much about (less interestingly) the filmmaker making the film.  I just don’t see it having that more visceral emotional connection that would be enough to trump those films that are major players in the first category (most notably, CITIZEN).

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    JRMeehl
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    #176738

    No. It can’t. 

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