We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
The documentary branch like political statements. They always have. Occasionally, films about difficult subjects that create a morsel of hope can win through with the Academy. Batkid Begins, which follows the Make A Wish Foundation and its attempts to bring a child’s desire to be Batman to life. The event became a national sensation with millions drawn in by the sweet, generous spirits of an entire city working to make kid’s dream come true.
From everything I’ve heard so far, the film is a emotional gut-puncher, which means a lot of voters will have a strong reaction to the film. When you make an Oscar voter feel something, even if it’s pride, sorrow, hope or any other emotion, they tend to vote with their hearts, which gives the film a decidedly upper hand.
The only thing that could backfire is that because of property rights, Warner Bros. produced the documentary and there are times when the promotion of it seem more like studio profit propaganda and not genuine interest in conveying a story. I doubt this will be the case, though. This seems to be like one of the first major Best Documentary Feature contenders of the year.