Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers
The entire Best Documentary Feature category was surprising to me on the morning of the nominations. Not only were “Blackfish” and “Stories We Tell” missing from the nominations, but “20 Feet From Stardom”, a film that I had all but written off had made the cut. Following the story of some of the most prestigious back up singers in music, including Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry, and spanning decades with their vocals in some of the most famous tracks and with some of the most famous musicians of our time, this documentary relies on interviews with and footage of the women as they recollect their previous endeavors and inform where their careers have led today. Originally not sure what the film exactly was, I was pleasantly surprised to find a relatable and insightful look at the music industry and was taken aback by how many songs these women have lent their voices to, along with the stories that come with these songs. According to the Gold Derby website, “20 Feet From Stardom” is poised as the favorite to win right now and while I disagree, it does follow in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed winner last year, “The Search For Sugar Man” which was also about the music industry. However, having yet to see “The Act Of Killing”, I have a stronger feeling about that film with much more buzz and critical acclaim placed on that film throughout the entire race. But with as unpredictable as this category has been, who can really pick what will win?
// Produced by Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers // Directed by Morgan Neville //
// Dated Viewed: Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 // DVD // 24 films – 26 days //