It’s officially awards season. To honor today’s announcement of the Academy Award nominees, I thought we might celebrate “Throwback Thursday” style and take a look at one of my favorite Oscar winners, Searching for Sugar Man.
Searching for Sugar Man, directed/produced by Malik Bendjelloul and produced by Simon Chinn, swept last year’s award for Best Documentary Feature. The joy of this movie is in its story. So, what’s the synopsis? You’ll have to pardon me because while I’m bursting to share, you really don’t want me to. This stranger than fiction film is all about its secrets. The less you know the better the viewing experience. Rolling Stone calls the story “almost unbelievable”, the NY Times “a real-life fairy tale”, and Roger Ebert asks, “Do some stories exist only because we need them to?”
Are your fingers itching to google Searching for Sugar Man now or would you be willing to play along and watch with no more information other than what I’ve given you? As I was preparing to write this I posed that question to two acquaintances and was surprised at how immediately game they both were to view the film. Each did ask one question before agreeing to commit. First up, “Is this an emotionally draining film?” Nope, it’s not that kind of story. No emotional energy or prep work required. Second, “Can I watch this with a date? What about with my mother?” Searching for Sugar Man is indeed both date and mother friendly.
The whole idea of this makes me wonder, would you be more likely to entertain a blind movie recommendation than a similarly framed book or music suggestion? Is that because films are less of a time commitment than books? Or perhaps it’s because movies somehow feel less personal than music? Share your thoughts in the comments, take the plunge with Searching for Sugar Man, and welcome to awards season!
Searching for Sugar Man is available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and YouTube.