As I struggle to watch as many Oscar Nominees as I can, I thought I would take a break and talk about Best Documentary. Now, I’m doing this category for two reasons. One, I’m not planning on seeing any of these films. And Two, there is a pretty clear winner. Now I’m not a big fan of documentaries myself, mainly because I see films as a form of escaping from our regular mundane lives. Documentaries do not let you escape, they force you to see how much this world really stinks.
For example, The Act Of Killing is about two war heroes named Anwar and Adi who, along with their friends re-enact the killings they’ve committed. So how good is this film? Sight And Sound, LA Weekly, and The Guardian all voted this film as being THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR. And while some people thought that Stories We Tell could potentially win, the film wasn’t even nominated, making The Act Of Killing a pretty sure winner.
Now for the rest. Cutie And The Boxer. It’s about a 14 year old girl who falls in love with a 40 year old man. And she actually ends up marrying him. Well, it’s a foreign country. Anything’s possible. And then they flash forward 40 years and show how the relationship has turned abusive. Okay, I guess I see how that could be interesting. However, it’s not really on a lot of people’s radar.
Also nominated is Dirty Wars. Uh, as a pose to what? Clean wars? “General, we totally wiped out Czechoslovakia and no one got a scratch on ’em!” Okay, so it’s basically about how the government has been covering up the deaths of five civilians, killed by soldiers from the US. It sounds a little bit too bleak and on the nose for the Academy.
Then there’s The Square. In what I assume is the stunning follow up to The Circle, the film is about the ongoing 2011 Egyptian Revolution from its roots in Tahrir Square. And that’s the exact plot summary from Wikipedia. Sounds dull, but I’ve heard good things about it. So I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe a dark horse for the win, I don’t know.
Lastly, we have 20 Feet From Stardom. Okay, weird title. Apparently it’s about the behind the scenes life of background singers. Oh, I get it, because they’re 20 feet away from center stage! Clever. And it’s won a few things as well. But will the Academy spring for a music related documentary two years in a row? I doubt it, but I’ll put it as my runner up.
WILL WIN: The Act Of Killing
RUNNER UP: 20 Feet From Stardom
SHOULD WIN: I have no idea.