The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences released their list of the final 15 candidates for this year's Best Documentary Oscar. In alphabetical order:
- “Autism: The Musical”
- “Body of War”
- “For the Bible Tells Me So” (review at Toronto Screen Shots)
- “Lake of Fire” (review at Toronto Screen Shots)
- “No End in Sight” (review at Toronto Screen Shots)
- “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience”
- “Please Vote for Me” (my review)
- “The Price of Sugar”
- “A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman”
- “The Rape of Europa”
- “Taxi to the Dark Side”
- “White Light/Black Rain”
AJ Schnack has a terrific breakdown of the candidates as well as a pretty damning statement about the Academy. I've only seen "Please Vote For Me" (which was great, but a big surprise), but certainly expected "No End In Sight" to be in the running and am not surprised at "Lake Of Fire" and "For The Bible tells Me So" (from what I've heard about them and their subject matter). But there seems to be an absence of, I don't know...something different, something to root for...something like "Audience Of One", "Helvetica", "Wordplay" or "The Bridge". I can't say if any of these are more worthy of a spot than the others (or even if they would have qualified this year), but I certainly would have welcomed them.
I agree with Schnack and others (like Allison Willmore on the IFC Blog) that In The Shadow Of The Moon really should be in the running. My bias is clear here, but it's such a terrific document of not only the events and the time period, but of the fascinating intelligent men that went through it.