Those who need a time out from New Year’s Day football can switch over to Viceland for a documentary about one of football’s greatest stars. But O.J.: Made in America, Ezra Edelman’s 7 1/2-hour film about the myriad issues surrounding the O.J. Simpson case, is much more than just a look at one of the gridiron’s all-time best running backs. It follows the celebrated Simpson case through the perspective of race, domestic violence, celebrity culture, police brutality and the racial history of Los Angeles.
Drawing from footage and interviews with longtime friends and colleagues of Simpson, the ESPN Films project has racked up numerous honors this season including Best Documentary from the IDA Awards, Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, the Gothams, National Board of Review and multiple local critics groups. It also earned an AFI Special Award. Along with a likely Oscar nom next month, it is nominated for Indie Spirit, PGA and Cinema Eye prizes.
The two-decade-old Simpson case got hot again this year. O.J.: Made in America launched in the wake of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which drew strong ratings during its February-April run and scored a leading 22 Emmy noms en route to five wins, the most for any program this year.