Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.
The Film: Blackfish, a gripping documentary about the devastating consequences of keeping orcas in captivity — especially as performing attractions at theme parks like SeaWorld. Though the Academy snubbed the film, it’s been as popular with audiences as it was with critics; Blackfish was the third-highest-grossing documentary of 2013 that didn’t star One Direction or Justin Bieber. (The only docs that out-earned it, 20 Feet From Stardom and The Gatekeepers, both got Best Documentary Feature nods, the former this year and the latter in 2013.) Huge numbers of people — 21 million in total, over multiple airings — have also watched Blackfish on CNN.
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