With the notable absence of presumed front-runner Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Best Documentary is suddenly up in the air. What film will rise to take its place as the “Best Documentary” of 2018?
- Free Solo
- Hale County This Morning, This Evening
- Minding the Gap
- Of Father and Sons
Will Win: RBG
Could Win: Minding the Gap
Dark Horse: Free Solo
The secondary mainstream documentary hit of the year, next to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, is RBG. As a result, this will most likely be your winner. It is also likely the most widely-seen film of the lot, so even if a higher quality doc exists among the five (if you ask me, a few do) it might not get the votes.
The difference-maker in this regard is Minding the Gap. Not only is it one of the most critically-acclaimed docs of 2018 (it is, in my opinion, the best doc of the year), but it is freely available to watch on Hulu. While a film like Hale County This Morning, This Evening and Of Fathers and Sons are limited run pictures with small amounts of buzz, Minding the Gap has racked up critics awards. Without Neighbor in the mix, Bing Liu’s film may sneak up to take its place.
It is worth mentioning Free Solo. Not a particularly winning film (in a literal sense; it hasn’t been honored much this awards season), Solo sports some of the most impressive documentary cinematography of all time. If nothing else, it is a visual achievement where the filmmakers put themselves in actual danger (not as much danger as their thrill-seeking subject, but danger nonetheless).
With the presumed front-runner gone, Best Documentary has a lot of upset potential. RBG is the safest choice, but don’t count out the other contenders, especially Minding the Gap.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)