I am in the process of finalizing my Oscar Predictions for the 95th Academy Awards which will be revealed Tuesday (my forecast is arriving on the blog either tomorrow or Sunday). Yet it’s already time to pontificate about the 96th since the Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah.
Sundance is a known launching pad for documentaries that eventually contend for Academy glory. For the Doc competition in 2021, 3 of the 5 nominees were unveiled at the fest: winner Summer of Soul, Flee, and Writing with Fire.
One of the higher profile debuts is Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which recounts the actor’s skyrocketing career in the 80s and his Parkinson’s diagnosis. It comes from David Guggenheim. An Inconvenient Truth, his 2006 collaboration with Al Gore, was a Doc Feature recipient. 2010’s Waiting for “Superman” was a buzzy hit and 2015’s He Named Me Malala was shortlisted for Oscar but didn’t make the final quintet. Fun fact: the filmmaker is married to Elisabeth Shue, who costarred with his subject in the Back to the Future sequels. Fox, it should be noted, is scheduled to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at this year’s ceremony.
Apple TV has distribution rights to Still. Early reviews are quite positive and it’s likely the streamer will mount a campaign. That said, a lot of docs focused on celebs garner plenty of ink and don’t end up becoming major players on the awards circuit. It’s too early to predict the future with this one. Time will tell if it’s still viable months down the road. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…