From 'The Grandmaster' to 'The Hunt,' what has the Academy chosen?
"The Missing Picture" (Cambodia)
Another unorthodox selection in a hybrid documentary vein, and one I'm even more certain is here by the grace of the executive committee. Rithy Panh's inventive, profoundly personal account of his coming of age under the Pol Pot dictatorship is a critics' favorite that, for all its pathos and playfulness, I struggled to imagine connecting with the general voters -- though maybe its principal gimmick of using ceramic figurines to enact his experiences proved more universally beguiling than I had estimated. (The Academy's documentary branch wasn't sufficiently impressed to shortlist it, though it makes a neat companion piece to "The Act of Killing.") "Waltz With Bashir" opened the door for documentaries in this category five years ago, and in similarly unconventional aesthetic fashion, though I still wouldn't count on a nomination.
Notable awards: Un Certain Regard Award, Cannes Film Festival; nominee for Best Documentary, European Film Awards
World premiere: Cannes Film Festival 2013
US release: 2014 (Strand Releasing)
Country's Oscar record: 0 nominations