Sunday, November 17, 2019

'Apollo 11' wins 5 awards, including Best Documentary, at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards

It's time to follow through with my plans to post the winners of this year's Critics' Choice Documentary Awards.  I begin with KTLA 5's "Apollo 11" Wins Big at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards.

This is almost a sweep.  As I quoted from the press release, "The nominations for Apollo 11 are Best Documentary Feature, Todd Douglas Miller for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary."  The documentary about Apollo 11 landing on the Moon won all but one of them as "Apollo 11 took home the evening’s most prestigious award for Best Documentary Feature as well as Best Editing for Todd Douglas Miller, Best Score for Matt Morton, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary."  The award it didn't get was for Best Director, where "There was a tie for Best Director between Peter Jackson for They Shall Not Grow Old, and Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar for American Factory. They Shall Not Grow Old also brought home the award for Most Innovative Documentary. American Factory also won the award for Best Political Documentary."

I have to say that I'm happy about the awards "Apollo 11" won and having a range of feelings from not surprised to pleased about the other movies' trophies.  I hoped for or expected most of them.
While the Critics' Choice Association did not consider either "Apollo 11" or "They Shall Not Grow Old" as political documentaries, both are about functions of government, space exploration and the military.  In addition, they are competing directly against each other in five categories, making it a match-up between the third highest grossing political documentary of 2018 and the highest grossing documentary of 2019 (so far).  Of course, I'm rooting for "Apollo 11," especially in the Best Science/Nature Documentary category, although I think it faces stiff competition, especially from "The Biggest Little Farm."
American Factory and One Child Nation...are the favorites [to win Best Political Documentary].
The one I didn't call was "They Shall Not Grow Old" but I expected Peter Jackson would be the favorite, as he is an Oscar-winning director, producer, and writer.

The other winner that I wrote about was "The Biggest Little Farm."
The Biggest Little Farm leads this year with seven nominations, including Best Documentary Feature, John Chester for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.
While this is not explicitly a movie about politics and government, it is one that I have a professional interest in.  Unlike "The End of Suburbia," which I've already replaced with "Treasures of the Earth: Power," and "An Inconvenient Truth," which I've already decided to replace with "Chasing Coral" when it comes out on DVD, "Food, Inc." is still holding up well despite being a decade old.  That written, it, too, will become obsolete one day, so I plan on watching "The Biggest Little Farm" as a possible replacement.  Welcome to blogging as professional development.
It won one award, as John Chester took home the trophy for Best Cinematography.  Congratulations!  Here's to both "Apollo 11" and "The Biggest Little Farm" earning Oscar nominations.

Now the rest of the winners and honorees.
Best Narration went to Bruce Springsteen for Western Stars.

Honeyland took home the award for Best First Documentary Feature for directors Tamara Kotevska an Ljubomir Stefanov.

The award for Best Biographical Documentary went to Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.

The Best Music Documentary award went to Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

Maiden won the Best Sports Documentary award.

The Best Short Documentary Award was given to Period. End of Sentence.

This year’s honorees for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary are Dr. Amani Ballor (The Cave), David Crosby (David Crosby: Remember My Name), Tracy Edwards (Maiden), Imelda Marcos (The Kingmaker), Hatidze Muratova (Honeyland), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin (Knock Down the House), Linda Ronstadt (Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice), and Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Ask Dr. Ruth).
I'm glad to see that "Period. End of Sentence" won a Critics' Choice Award to go with its Oscar.  I'm also happy that "Knock Down the House" already earned its subjects their honors; while I was rooting for it to win Best Political Documentary, I was pretty sure it wouldn't.  Speaking of which, "One Child Nation" did not win in any of the five categories in which it was nominated.  I think it will have better luck at the Emmy Awards next year.

I conclude today's entry with APOLLO 11 [Official Trailer].

From director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) comes a cinematic event fifty years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
Once again, congratulations to all the winners and good luck on their Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy chances!

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