This Jon Batiste Documentary Is Already Generating Oscars Buzz (and It Hits Netflix on November 29)

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Still from 'American Symphony.'

Jon Batiste, 37, has been on quite a roll lately. In 2022, he won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards for his LP We Are. Two years prior, he won an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for his score on the Pixar movie Soul. Now, a year of the musician's life has been chronicled in the new documentary American Symphony, which arrives to Netflix on November 29, and it's already getting Oscars buzz.

As hinted by the title, American Symphony follows Batiste as he composes his first-ever original symphony, at a time when he felt on top of the world. However, everything comes crashing down when his wife, writer Suleika Jaouad, 35, realizes that her cancer—which she was diagnosed with in 2011—has returned.

In this emotional documentary from director Matthew Heineman, we watch as Batiste and Jaouad lean on each other and rely on their love to get through this difficult period of their lives. And at the center of it all is their art.

Still from 'American Symphony.'

While Batiste's shelves are already lined with awards, the Louisiana native can likely expect some more from American Symphony. In fact, some outlets are predicting Academy Award nominations for the musician.

Back in September, The Hollywood Reporter announced that American Symphony had been acquired by Netflix in a bidding war, adding, “The film will be released this year and will be promoted with a major Oscar campaign in the works.”

Then, in October, Variety reported, “Matthew Heineman’s moving documentary feature American Symphony was recently acquired by Netflix after its debut at the Telluride Film Festival, cementing itself as one of the early frontrunners for the Oscars. Its main subject, Soul Oscar winner Jon Batiste, will now be in the race for Best Original Song with the track ‘It Never Went Away.’”

The likelihood of American Symphony getting a few Oscar nods seems good, given that it already received six Critics Choice Documentary Awards nominations. The noms for the Academy Awards will be announced on January 23, 2024, so time will tell.

In the meantime, we'll be waiting for the premiere of American Symphony on Netflix on November 29.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the former Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a...