Academy Award Preview — Other film races

Today in my preview of the Academy Awards I'm looking at some of the other movie races — animated films, documentary, and foreign film.

Best Animated Feature:
O Menino e o Mundo
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Omoide no Mânî

About: This category is probably more notable for what didn't get nominated. Many thought "The Peanuts Movie" should have been in this category. And there were other animated films that were more mainstream commercial releases that could have been in this category. But in the end, I'm not sure it matters. "Inside Out" has drawn rave reviews all year long, and is a runaway favorite in this category. Some thought it would get a Best Picture nomination, so it seems like a lock in this category.

Best Documentary Feature:
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

About: This is another tough category. Many of these films don't get mainstream releases, and most of them don't get seen by mass audiences. So it becomes somewhat difficult to figure out what will come out on top. However, among this field there is one documentary that stands out, "Amy." The life and death of Amy Winehouse has been a curious, tragic fascination in culture, and it's captured in this new documentary. I expect "Amy" will take the top prize come February 28.

Best Foreign Language Feature:
Embrace of the Serpent
Son of Saul
A War

About: This is another category where the mass audiences don't often get to see the field of nominees. Picking the winner is more about following critical buzz and reading some of the tea leaves. The one that's generated the most buzz is the Hungarian entry "Son of Saul." The film is set during World War II and tells the difficult story of group of Jewish prisoners tasked with some grim duties at Auschwitz. That's the one I expect to win on February 28.


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