Win follows best doc prizes for Jane and Strong Island earlier in week
What is the best documentary of the year? It depends on who you believe.
The New York Film Critics Circle drew a circle around Faces Places this week as its choice for top documentary, honoring the film by Agnès Varda and her co-director, the street artist known as JR.
The prize capped a week in which two other groups announced their awards for best documentary, recognizing two other films.
The National Board of Review selected Brett Morgen's Jane as best of the year, a day after Yance Ford's Strong Island earned best documentary at the Gotham Awards.
Each of those films is expected to make the Motion Picture Academy's shortlist of 15 films feature documentaries that will remain in contention for the Oscars. The list will be announced next week.
Faces Places marks possibly the final film for Varda in a long career of both fiction and nonfiction work. In the documentary Varda and JR amble around France in a customized truck which contains a photo booth than can print massive images. The directors invited locals in various villages to take photos and posted many of them on buildings, trucks and other unlikely locations, giving the subjects an unusual perspective on their lives.
At the Cannes Film Festival, Faces Places (the French title is Visages Villages) won the L'Oeil d'or award for best documentary.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.