2014 Awards Season: DGA: Telling Stories about Documentaries

Stories We Tell poster

The Directors Guild of America finished its theatrical nominations yesterday with the Documentary category. I'm of two minds with the list of nominees. On the one hand, I feel like I should be surprised, because a number of documentaries thought to be Oscar favorites were left off the list. On the other hand, they've been left off the list a number of times. I think it is time to rethink who is and is not an Oscar favorite.

The categories and nominations are...

OUSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

OUSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY

Notes and Reactions...

  • There are not many surprises here, as four of the five Best Feature Film nominees also picked up a Golden Globe nomination. The lone exception is Martin Scorsese, who picked up his eleventh DGA nomination. Eleventh.
  • Steve McQueen picked up his first nomination, for 12 Years a Slave, and I think he's the favorite to win.
  • Alfonso Cuaron and Paul Greengrass were also first time nominees. However, while I think Gravity deserves to win, I don't think it's the right genre for Awards Season. A period piece based on a real life person with an amazing story screams Awards Season, while anything Sci-fi related does not.
  • Some snubs include Alexander Payne and Spike Jonze, both of whom I would have picked.
  • Sarah Polley has to been seen as one of the favorites to win an Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary. Stories We Tell has picked up a number of major award nominations, unlike some of the others.
  • Blackfish and 20 Feet from Stardom were snubbed, again. I'm no longer sure they will pick up an Oscar nomination. On the other hand, The Act of Killing and The Square had their stock rise after a previous snub at the WGA.

- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-14