I’ll admit that the list of nominees for Best Documentary at this years Oscars does feature a few Mild Concern favourites in the shape of Exit Through the Gift Shop and Waste Land, but it’s a shame the most talked about documentary is absent.
Catfish is truly moving and completely shocking. Once you’re into the final forty minutes you won’t be able to look away. Clearly this isn’t the most technical documentary, shot on the fly rather than with nay real intent to make a documentary, but the story it tells is one of the most compelling. Rather than the lack of technical prowess what is probably holding Catfish back is it’s believability.
While I buy into the story completely some are more cynical and find the final act revelation too exciting to be true. This brings the feature’s credentials as a documentary into question and makes it much less award friendly. Exit Through the Gift Shop had a similarly dramatic conclusion that many viewers found hard to swallow. It’s validity only confirmed for some but the fact that it was allowed into the Oscars.
A nomination at the Oscars would have given Catfish the seal of approval from the wider film community. As it is it remains a cult hit and something that has to be seen to be believed… and even then not by everyone.