Oscar Doc Shortlist Announced

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their documentary shortlist yesterday. Here are the 15 films selected:

Though I’ve seen just three of the nominated films so far, I’m pretty confident saying I’d be bitterly disappointed if Man on Wire fails to win the Oscar. Like some other commentators, I’m surprised and a bit let down that Yung Chang’s Up the Yangtze (review) wasn’t shortlisted.

Documentarian AJ Schnack (Kurt Cobain: About a Son) is breaking these down over on his excellent blog, All These Wonderful Things.

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5 Responses to Oscar Doc Shortlist Announced

  1. Bob Turnbull says:

    I saw the list too, but I’ve only seen the one so far – “Man On Wire”. I’d be happy for it to win as well, but I have some catching up to do. Granted, not many of these are available yet (at least, I don’t think so).

    My initial thought was that “Man On Wire”, “Trouble The Water”, “Standard Operating Procedure”, “IOUSA” and “At The Death House Door” would be nominated, but as I was looking at the others a few jumped out (some solely based on their topic):

    “Made In America” – I had forgotten about Peralta’s newest documentary. I’ve heard nothing about it, but would be very pleased to see him get further recognition. “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and “Riding Giants” were both terrific – interesting stories and people, entertaining AND both of them played around with the form of the documentary a bit.

    “Pray The Devil Back To Hell” – That IMDB description sounds like this could be an awesomely inspiring tale.

    “Fuel” – The environment and politics…A combination that has certainly worked in the past.

    I can’t imagine Herzog’s getting a nom (though that would be cool – I can’t wait to see this one), nor the Glass film. Also (just going by content) “In A Dream” seems a long shot – though it sounds fascinating to me.

  2. Bob Turnbull says:

    Just read AJ’s piece and realized that “Young@Heart” wasn’t nominated. The film doesn’t hold much interest to me, but I’m stunned it didn’t get a nomination. From everything I’ve heard, it’s perfect fodder for the Oscars (I don’t mean to belittle the film – that’s just my impression).

  3. James McNally says:

    Hey Bob, thanks for your thoughts. I’m actually happy that “Young@Heart” was overlooked. Though I enjoyed it, it was a bit too much of a calculated crowd-pleaser for me. And speaking of crowd-pleasers, I wonder why Tricia Regan’s doc “Autism: The Musical” wasn’t on anyone’s radar?

  4. Wow, I’ve only seen two of these (Encounters and Man on Wire). I’d be so thrilled if Man on Wire won, it’s one of the few films this year that I would tell people just go see it – you don’t need to know anything about it and I think everyone would enjoy it.

    It’s so sad that Up the Yangtze isn’t on the list. The link through to AJ Schnack’s site says it didn’t qualify but I haven’t been able to figure out why.

  5. Jay Kerr says:

    I would be surprised if Man On Wire didn’t win. It’s a great film and a real crowd pleaser.

    I’m dying to see At the Death House Door. James gave it a great review and it looks really interesting. How many of these films are available on DVD?

    At the Death House Door is available (via streaming) at Amazon.com but only to US residents. What a drag.

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