Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

A look at the Oscar-nominated documentaries of 2014

Though they employ diverse stories and forms to convey their message, this year’s Oscar-nominated documentary features all explore the role of art in contemporary society.

Both “20 Feet from Stardom” and “Cutie and the Boxer” expose the working realities of the contemporary art world, giving voice to relatively unheard artists. Meanwhile, “The Act of Killing,” “The Square” and “Dirty Wars” challenge audiences to consider the ethics and efficacy of art as a means of political expression. While these films are not of universal quality, they are, collectively, a reminder that art matters and that films have an uncanny capacity to shape the world they depict.

“Gloria”: A Reflection on Middle-Aged Love

In the opening scene of “Gloria,” by Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio, the film’s eponymous star is alone at a nightclub. Gloria (Paulina García) makes eye contact with a few romantic prospects— middle-aged men from Santiago, Chile— but, mostly, she navigates independently, hovering on the dance floor’s peripheries. Everything about Gloria is familiar— her guts and vulnerability, her passions and instincts for self-preservation. She is a refreshing reminder that young people do not have a monopoly on the aches and ecstasies of falling in love.