Saturday, November 19, 2011

Best Documentary Feature

Let the kvetching begin with the 15 finalists, of which 5 will be nominated for Best Documentary Feature in this years Oscar race.  The shortlist is:

  • Battle for Brooklyn
  • Bill Cunningham: New York
  • Buck
  • Hell & Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Jane's Journey
  • The Loving Story
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Project Nim
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful
  • Sing Your Song
  • Undefeated
  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat
  • We Were Here
As with the case every year, the real story comes at the films snubbed rather than the ones selected.  Of the fifteen, I've viewed Buck, Project Nim and We Were Here, all pickups from Sundance and solid in their own right.  What was passed over is fairly immense, perhaps moreso than usual, including the major box office hit Senna, the Werner Herzog death penalty doc Into the Abyss (his 3-D spring hit Cave of the Forgotten Dreams was actually eligible last year.)  Also snubbed was the New York Times smart doc Page One, the magically absurd Tabloid (from doc royalty Errol Morris), and the critically acclaimed The Interrupters.

As a sidenote-- the Wim Wenders ballet documentary Pina (in 3-D) is also the official German entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

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