A thorough documentary takes a journalistic look at an issue by investigating it from all possible angles, removing the emotional component from the discussion and using the gathered information to draw a logical conclusion. A popular and successful documentary heightens an emotional issue by emphasizing the plight of the downtrodden while demonizing the oppressors, all while making their point of view easily understandable to the masses. Waiting for Superman is a fantastic example of a documentary which attempts to be thorough while being successful and wildly engaging.
Of course, it helps that director and writer Davis Guggenheim has two other films under his belt (It Might Get Loud and An Inconvenient Truth) that join Waiting for Superman on the list of 100 highest-grossing documentaries of all time. Rather than solve global warming, this time around Guggenheim tries to tackle an equally frustrating issue: educational reform in America. Hit the jump to read my Blu-ray review.
It seemed like The Social Network had a clear path to the Academy Awards, but the dastardly Producers’ Guild of America may prove an obstacle. The King’s Speech took home Best Picture at the Producers Guild Awards last night in a notable upset. Over the past 20 years the Producers Guild and the Oscars have agreed on 13 of 20 Best Picture winners.
Everything else went down about as expected for both film and television. Toy Story 3 won Best Animated Feature, and Waiting for “Superman” was named Best Documentary. In TV, the PGA honored Mad Men, Modern Family, The Pacific, The Colbert Report, and Deadliest Catch. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Earlier this week, the Directors Guild of America named its nominees for Best Director. Now they’ve named their nominees for Best Documentary Director. And the nominees are:
- Lixin Fan for Last Train Home
- Charles Ferguson for Inside Job
- Alex Gibney for Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
- Davis Guggenheim for Waiting for “Superman”
- Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger for Restrepo
Among the notable snubs were Banksy for Exit Through the Gift Shop and Amir Bar-Lev’s The Tillman Story. It’s possible that the DGA’s nominees will be the five Oscar nominees as well, but I honestly don’t see what’s so spectacular about Client 9. Obviously, I’m biased towards Exit Through the Gift Shop, but I think it’s the more enduring and thought-provoking work. Winners will be announced Saturday, January 29th. [TheWrap]
On Collider, we bring you a lot of posters. Sure, it’s marketing but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the stuff you want to hang on your walls at home. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 posters of 2010. The only rule is that the posters had to come from a studio. So if you’re wondering, “Where the hell are all the Mondo posters?!”, that’s why (they also would have taken up the entire list).
Hit the jump to check out my picks for the Top 10 Posters of 2010.
While different folks have their own dates for when awards season has officially “begun”, I set it at the date the National Board of Review announces their picks for the year. In two of the past three years, the NBR’s pick for Best Picture has gone on to win the Oscar. However, last year’s NBR winner, Up in the Air, went home empty-handed.
This year, the NBR has given the top prize to The Social Network. The film also picked up the prizes for Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Best Actor). Other winners included Lesley Manville getting Best Actress for Another Year, Christian Bale winning Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter, and Jacki Weaver receiving Best Supporting Actress for Animal Kingdom. Hit the jump for the full list of awards, including the National Board of Review’s Top 11 films, Top 10 Independent Films, Top 6 Foreign Films, and Top 6 Documentaries.
The Independent Filmmaker Project have announced the winners of the 2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards. Winter’s Bone was the big winner, landing both “Best Feature” and “Best Ensemble Performance.” The other honorees include Holy Rollers, Daddy Longlegs, Littlerock, The Oath, and Waiting for Superman.
Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released their shortlist of 15 documentaries that have advanced in the voting for Best Documentary nominations. The list includes Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, and, one of my favorite films of the year, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop. Unfortunately, the documentary Catfish was shutout. While some have speculated that it’s because of controversy regarding the documentary’s authenticity, that same controversy of “realism” also surrounds Exit Through the Gift Shop. However, as long as Gift Shop continues to have a shot at the top prize, I’m happy (although Inside Job and Waiting for Superman are also quality films).
Hit the jump for the press release and a list of the final 15 contenders. The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on January 25, 2011.
The Los Angeles Film Festival continues in downtown L.A. through out the week and so do the various screenings, interviews, and retrospectives taking place there. After the jump you can read my thoughts on Of Love and Other Demons, the excellent Cold Weather, Venice Film Festival winner Lebanon, and the latest documentary from Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) Waiting For Superman. My write up after the jump:
Sundance has announced the 2010 Award Winning films and Animal Kingdom, The Red Chapel, Restrepo, and Winter’s Bone earned Grand Jury Prizes while Contracorriente, happythankyoumoreplease, Waiting For Superman, and Wasteland won the Audience Awards. Also, Homewrecker won Best of the NEXT Award.
While I attended the Sundance Film Festival for over a week and saw 20 something films, the only film I managed to catch from the above list was happythankyoumoreplease yesterday afternoon. But after my screening ended, the audience was clapping. Clearly, people really liked the film and since it hasn’t sold yet, winning the audience award should help Josh Radnor’s film land distribution. Also, it’s a really sweet romcom with a good cast. Hit the jump for more on the Awards winners including the complete list: