Oscar Documentary Nominees Break the Mold

  • Variety
Oscar Documentary Nominees Break the Mold
Known as a notoriously unpredictable bunch, the Academy’s documentary branch has become rather predictable in the past two years.

The evidence lies in the films they choose not to recognize come Oscar time: Films such as Brett Morgen’s 2017 Jane Goodall docu, “Jane,” and two of last year’s biggest nonfiction box office successes — Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers.” Both Neville’s Mr. Rogers doc and Wardle’s film about identical triplets separated at birth premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Both films also went on to do the seemingly impossible and strike a chord with audiences all over the country. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” grossed $22.8 million domestically, making it the 12th-highest-grossing doc of all time. Meanwhile, “Strangers” also defied documentary theatrical odds when it drew in $12.3 million.

Morgen’s “Jane” grossed just
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