The New York Times has deemed it a “David and Goliath match-up” in the race for this year’s Oscar for Best Documentary: on one side there’s first-time director Madeleine Sackler’s The Lottery, on the other, there’s the highly publicized Waiting for “Superman.”
Both docs cover the same broad topic — America’s education crisis and the charter schools that are attempting to fix it — and both are currently included on the Academy’s shortlist of 15 Best Doc semifinalists.
Yet Waiting for “Superman” has a few advantages going for it. For one, it has the star power of director Davis Guggenheim, who helmed the previous Best Doc Oscar winner An Inconvenient Truth. Secondly, Paramount has bolstered Superman’s Oscar buzz with a hefty marketing campaign.
Nevertheless, The Lottery is holding its own thanks to positive word-of-mouth from critics, plus the support of celebrity spokespeople like Katie Couric.
Below is a sampling of articles that have covered The Lottery’s journey from no-budget passion project to “underdog” in the race for Oscar gold: