Documentarian Michael Moore may elicit some negative reactions from moderates and those on the right. Moore has become somewhat of a lightning rod for controversy, but that does not mean he’s a poor filmmaker. Quite the contrary, as some of his films, including “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Bowling for Columbine,” and “Roger & Me” remain very strong works of cinema. With Moore’s recent release of “Fahrenheit 11/9” he’s been back in the public eye. While his documentary fell short of expectations at the box office, it drew strong reviews. Thus, the Critic’s Choice Awards announcement that he’ll be receiving a lifetime achievement award comes as little surprise.
The Critic’s Choice Awards announced the Lifetime Achievement Award for Moore ahead of their 3rd annual Documentary Awards. Those prizes, set to be handed out on November 10th, will highlight the documentaries of note in a year absolutely packed with them. Even if Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” misses out on nominations there, this gives him larger visibility in the season. This gives Moore another strong campaign stop on the road to the Oscars this year, following up “Fahrenheit 11/9’s” selection at NYC DOC Fest.
Moore’s antics have often made him a controversial figure. He has a streak of performing pranks or comedy bits in his films, making him stand out from many other documentarians. He helped to make the documentary genre mainstream in the 20th century. His influence, for better or worse, is undeniable. This makes him an ideal candidate for achievement awards like this one. It is good to see him involved in the season, especially during a very politically divided time in America. The question now will be whether his messages will resonate with the Academy and the larger American public.