Why it’ll win: Pic has a hometown advantage, as it tracks a (celebrity-supported) community garden that sprang up in South Central Los Angeles following the 1992 Rodney King riots, a 14-acre oasis threatened by bulldozers. The movie’s inspiring struggle squares with the nation’s current fight-the-power political mood.
Maybe not: Lowest profile among the nominees, still lacking a distributor and barely seen by the public outside of film festivals. New Yorkers might be disappointed, expecting a doc about Madison Square Garden.
Critical quote: “A case study in how hardball politics is played and why it is so difficult to take on the system,” says Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan.