Even though there are 159 documentaries in contention for the Best Documentary Feature at this year’s 92nd Academy Awards, I have not seen a single one. So my guesses about what will make the final cut are really based on what got in from past ceremonies and what buzz is surrounding certain titles or how well they did at the box office.

Music documentaries are usually a shoe-in, with films like “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Searching for Sugarman” being huge hits the years that they were nominated. That being said, “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” has a big name director attached, so that could easily make the cut. Also, “Echo In The Canyon” stuck around the box office for quite some time during its release, so that too could be a possible contender. Films like “Food, Inc.” and “Super Size Me” that take a look at our food habits or where our food comes from sometime catch the Academy’s attention so “The Biggest Little Farm,” which also made box office buzz, as well as Morgan Spurlock’s sequel “Super Size Me: Holy Chicken” could also find a nomination.

Making the biggest splash at the box office this year so far was “Apollo 11,” the documentary about the manned space mission which featured mostly unseen archival footage. I would put that in the spot to beat at the moment. Political documentaries can also fair well, so titles like “One Child Nation” or ““The River and the Wall” which both feel somewhat timely. Other films that stand out to me are “Aquarela” and “Honeyland” which both look visually interesting, “Citizen K” which is directed by Academy favorite Alex Gibney (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” & “Taxi to the Dark Side”), “Combat Obscura” which takes real footage from the daily life of Marines in an active war zone, “The Elephant Queen” which is a nature documentary from Apple TV+, “For Sama” which takes a look at the combat in Aleppo from a female perspective, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” which chronicles the botched festival that everyone was talking about when it happened, “Knock Down the House” which is a Netflix documentary about the women that have taken a foothold in our nation’s government, and “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” “Pavarotti,” and “Maiden” which all had great box office runs.


WAY TOO EARLY PREDICTIONS
  • “Apollo 11”
  • “The Biggest Little Farm”
  • “Knock Down the House”
  • “One Child Nation”
  • “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”

Here’s the full list:

  1. “Advocate”
  2. “After Parkland”
  3. “The All-Americans”
  4. “Always in Season”
  5. “The Amazing Johnathan Documentary”
  6. “American Dharma”
  7. “American Factory”
  8. “American Relapse”
  9. “Angels Are Made of Light”
  10. “The Apollo”
  11. “Apollo 11”
  12. “Aquarela”
  13. “Ask Dr. Ruth”
  14. “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal”
  15. “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable”
  16. “The Biggest Little Farm”
  17. “The Black Godfather”
  18. “Blink of an Eye”
  19. “Blowin’ Up”
  20. “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes”
  21. “The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story”
  22. “Bridges of Time”
  23. “The Brink”
  24. “Broken Dreams”
  25. “The Bronx USA”
  26. “Bruno Sammartino”
  27. “Buddha in Africa”
  28. “Call Me Intern”
  29. “Carmine Street Guitars”
  30. “The Cave”
  31. “Chasing Einstein”
  32. “Cinema Morocco”
  33. “Citizen K”
  34. “The Cold Blue”
  35. “Cold Case Hammarskjold”
  36. “Combat Obscura”
  37. “The Cordillera of Dreams”
  38. “Cracked Up”
  39. “Cunningham”
  40. “David Crosby: Remember My Name”
  41. “Debut”
  42. “Diego Maradona”
  43. “The Disappearance of My Mother”
  44. “Don’t Be Nice”
  45. “Echo in the Canyon”
  46. “The Edge of Democracy”
  47. “The Elephant Queen”
  48. “Emanuel”
  49. “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops”
  50. “Fantastic Fungi”
  51. “#Female Pleasure”
  52. “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles”
  53. “Fiddlin’”
  54. “Finding Farideh”
  55. “Finding the Way Home”
  56. “5B”
  57. “For Sama”
  58. “For the Birds”
  59. “Foster”
  60. “The Fourth Kingdom. The Kingdom of Plastics”
  61. “Framing John DeLorean”
  62. “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”
  63. “The Game Changers”
  64. “Gay Chorus Deep South”
  65. “Gaza”
  66. “Ghost Fleet”
  67. “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash”
  68. “The Gospel of Eureka”
  69. “The Great Hack”
  70. “Hail Satan?”
  71. “Halston”
  72. “Hate among Us”
  73. “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel”
  74. “Heimat Is a Space in Time”
  75. “Hesburgh”
  76. “Honeyland”
  77. “Hope Frozen”
  78. “The Hottest August”
  79. “Humberto Mauro”
  80. “I Had a Dream”
  81. “Immortal”
  82. “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”
  83. “It’s a Hard Truth Ain’t It”
  84. “Janani’s Juliet”
  85. “Jawline”
  86. “Jay Myself”
  87. “Jim Allison: Breakthrough”
  88. “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People”
  89. “The Kingmaker”
  90. “Knock Down the House”
  91. “Letter to the Editor”
  92. “Liberty: Mother of Exiles”
  93. “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”
  94. “Love, Antosha”
  95. “M for Malaysia”
  96. “Maiden”
  97. “Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound”
  98. “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love”
  99. “Meeting Gorbachev”
  100. “Midnight Family”
  101. “Midnight Traveler”
  102. “Mike Wallace Is Here”
  103. “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool”
  104. “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements”
  105. “The Most Dangerous Year”
  106. “Mosul”
  107. “Moti Bagh”
  108. “My Home India”
  109. “My Name Is Daniel”
  110. “On the President’s Orders”
  111. “One Child Nation”
  112. “Pavarotti”
  113. “The Proposal”
  114. “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz”
  115. “Q Ball”
  116. “The Quiet One”
  117. “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins”
  118. “Reason/Vivek”
  119. “Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project”
  120. “Reinventing Rosalee”
  121. “The Rememberer”
  122. “The River and the Wall”
  123. “Roll Red Roll”
  124. “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”
  125. “Running with Beto”
  126. “The Russian Five”
  127. “Satan & Adam”
  128. “Scandalous”
  129. “Sea of Shadows”
  130. “Serendipity”
  131. “The Serengeti Rules”
  132. “Shooting the Mafia”
  133. “16 Bars”
  134. “16 Shots”
  135. “The Spy behind Home Plate”
  136. “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken”
  137. “Talking about Trees”
  138. “Tell Me Who I Am”
  139. “Tesla Nation”
  140. “This Changes Everything”
  141. “This One’s for the Ladies”
  142. “Tigerland”
  143. “To Be of Service”
  144. “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”
  145. “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”
  146. “A Tuba to Cuba”
  147. “Walking on Water”
  148. “Watson”
  149. “Western Stars”
  150. “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael”
  151. “What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?”
  152. “When Lambs Become Lions”
  153. “When Tomatoes Met Wagner”
  154. “Where’s My Roy Cohn?”
  155. “Who Will Write Our History”
  156. “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation”
  157. “Wrestle”
  158. “XY Chelsea”
  159. “Ximei”

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