Becoming Cousteau

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Becoming Cousteau
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLiz Garbus
Written by
  • Pax Wasserman
  • Mark Monroe
Produced by
  • Liz Garbus
  • Dan Cogan
  • Mridu Chandra
  • Evan Hayes
Edited byPax Wasserman
Music by
  • Danny Bensi
  • Saunder Jurriaans
Distributed byPicturehouse
Release dates
  • September 2, 2021 (2021-09-02) (Telluride)
  • October 22, 2021 (2021-10-22) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • French
Box office$264,530[1][2]

Becoming Cousteau is a 2021 American documentary film directed and produced by Liz Garbus. It follows the life and career of Jacques Cousteau.

It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021, and was released on October 22, 2021, by Picturehouse.


The film follows the life and career of Jacques Cousteau, who tried to warn the world for decades about environmental issues.


In 2015, National Geographic Documentary Films approached Liz Garbus about directing a documentary film revolving around Jacques Cousteau, and she agreed.[3] Over the course of five years, Garbus worked with The Cousteau Society to get access to unseen footage.[4]

In May 2019, it was announced Garbus would direct a documentary film revolving around Cousteau, with Cousteau Society Archives producing and with National Geographic Documentary Films set to produce.[5]


It had its world premiere at the 48th Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021.[6][7] It had its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2021.[8] It was released on October 22, 2021, by Picturehouse.[9]


Critical reception

Becoming Costeau holds a 98% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 60 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.50/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "As visually thrilling as it is edifying, Becoming Cousteau pays fitting tribute to a pioneering explorer and environmental advocate."[10] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 74 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
BFI London Film Festival October 17, 2021 Grierson Award Becoming Cousteau Won [12]
British Academy Film Awards March 13, 2022 Best Documentary Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan Nominated [13]
Cinema Audio Society Awards March 19, 2022 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Documentary Phil McGowan, Tony Volante Nominated [14]
Cinema Eye Honors March 1, 2022 Audience Choice Prize Liz Garbus Nominated [15]
Outstanding Graphic Design/Animation Daniel Rutledge Nominated
Critics' Choice Documentary Awards November 14, 2021 Best Documentary Feature Becoming Cousteau Nominated [16][17]
Best Director Liz Garbus Nominated
Best Narration Vincent Cassel, Mark Monroe and Pax Wassermann Nominated
Best Archival Documentary Becoming Cousteau Nominated
Best Science/Nature Documentary Becoming Cousteau Won
Golden Trailer Awards October 6, 2022 Best Documentary Becoming Cousteau Nominated [18][19]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2021 Best Original Score – Documentary Film Daniel Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans Nominated [20]
Writers Guild of America Awards March 20, 2022 Best Documentary Screenplay Mark Monroe and Pax Wasserman Nominated [21]


  1. ^ "Becoming Cousteau". The Numbers. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Becoming Cousteau". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  3. ^ Morfoot, Addie (September 10, 2021). "Liz Garbus on Her Toronto Doc 'Becoming Cousteau'". Variety. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  4. ^ Welk, Brian (September 16, 2021). "'Becoming Cousteau' Director Explains How Explorer Went From Exploiting Nature to Protecting It (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 8, 2019). "NatGeo Dives Into Jacques Cousteau Documentary With Oscar-Lauded Team". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  6. ^ "Telluride Film Festival Program Guide" (PDF). Telluride Film Festival. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  7. ^ Hammond, Pete (September 1, 2021). "Telluride Film Festival: Will Smith's 'King Richard', Peter Dinklage Musical 'Cyrano', Joaquin Phoenix In 'C'mon C'mon', Ken Branagh's 'Belfast' Set To Premiere". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 4, 2021). "TIFF Unveils Docs, Midnight Madness & Wavelengths Lineup With Palme d'Or Winner 'Titane', Liz Garbus' 'Becoming Cousteau' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  9. ^ "National Geographic Documentary Films and Picturehouse to Release Liz Garbus' "BECOMING COUSTEAU" on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021". BusinessWire. September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  10. ^ "Becoming Cousteau". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  11. ^ "Becoming Cousteau". Metacritic. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  12. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (October 17, 2021). "Hit the Road, Playground, Becoming Cousteau Win BFI London Film Festival Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  13. ^ Ravindran, Manori (February 3, 2022). "BAFTA Awards Nominations Unveiled: Dune, Power of the Dog Lead Field, Will Smith Earns First BAFTA Nod". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  14. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 25, 2022). "Dune, West Side Story Among Cinema Audio Society's Sound Mixing Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  15. ^ Grobar, Matt (November 10, 2021). "Flee & Summer Of Soul Lead Cinema Eye Honors Nominations". Deadline. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  16. ^ Lewis, Hilary (November 14, 2021). "Summer of Soul Sweeps Critics Choice Documentary Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  17. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (October 8, 2021). "Ascension and Summer of Soul Lead Critics Choice Documentary Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  18. ^ Davis, Clayton (August 2, 2022). "Golden Trailer Awards: The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick Among Nominees, Disney Leads for Studios (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  19. ^ "Winners of the 22nd Annual Golden Trailer Awards" (PDF). Golden Trailer Awards. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 12, 2022. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  20. ^ "2021 Music in Visual Media Nominations". Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  21. ^ Davies, Clayton (January 27, 2022). "2022 WGA Awards Nominations: CODA, Don't Look Up and Dune Contending in the Screenplay Categories". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2022.