2018 Academy Awards Predictions – Best Documentary Short Subject

Finally, I can close out my 2018 (very inaccurate) Oscar predictions with a look at the Best Documentary Short Subject category. Having discovered that all of the short films will (or soon will) be available to stream online, I took the time to brush up on them.

And, let me tell you, this is a tight race.


The Nominees:

  • Edith+Eddie
  • Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  • Heroin(e)
  • Knife Skills
  • Traffic Stop

Will Win: Heroin(e)

Could Win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Dark Horse: Edith+Eddie


The only short yet to be made available to the public at large is Traffic Stop. But I’ve seen the other four. Plus, Gold Derby currently has Traffic Stop in dead last in terms of odds.

As for the other four, each film has its own strong case to make. Heroin(e) seems primed to take it, given its topical look at the opioid crisis and its emotionally satisfying personal take. This would mark the second year in a row that a Netflix-acquired film wins this award, following The White Helmets from last year. The short also has a similar tonal feel to it as the winner from 2015, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.

There is something compelling about Knife Skills. It is a gripping look at a zoomed-in image of post-parole inmates looking for work. But it also has the directorial vibe of a TV show. Plus its political message is less far-reaching as Heroin(e).

That said, a short that zooms in into an intimate personal story could sway the Academy. Both Edith+Eddie and Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 have this bent to them. Personally, I think Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 has better cinematics and a more engaging narrative than Edith+Eddie, but both accomplish their goals smoothly.

In my eyes, Heroin(e) has the front-runner status, but it is by no means secure. If you’re looking for a good place in your Oscar pool to pick the upset, it’s here.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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