Although documentaries have gained a fair bit of mainstream acceptance over the past decade, the average moviegoer is still highly unlikely to know or care about most of the films that are being released in the realm of non-fiction. And considering the kinds of docs typically recognized by the Academy Awards, it’s easy to see why people might be turned off from the genre. Year after year, they seem to place higher value on “important” subjects, rather than deft storytelling and artistic merit.
Once again this year, the short list of movies nominated for Best Documentary Feature seem to be lacking in not only imagination but also accessibility. Which is not to say that there aren’t some great movies on this list, but to be honest, I’ve only seen 1 out of the 15 titles — and that’s coming from someone who actually cares about docs. So it’s only natural for people to point out all kinds of glaring omissions from the movies that actually got any sort of theatrical release this year… some deserving, and others not so much.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil is one of the major flicks missing here, and although I can’t say I ever expected to see it get nominated, let’s not forget, we’re not even talking nominations here… this is just the short list! On the other hand, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story is one of his weakest films to date, and its omission is totally fine by me. Still, there are all kinds of other critically acclaimed films that were shunned including: We Live in Public, The September Issue, Tyson, Good Hair, Not Quite Hollywood, Crude, and No Impact Man. What do you think, did any of these movies get robbed? Check out the 15 potential finalists for Best Documentary Feature after the jump.
- The Beaches of Agnes (Dir. AgnÃ¨s Varda)
- Burma VJ (Dir. Anders Ã˜stergaard)
- The Cove (Dir. Louie Psihoyos)
- Every Little Step (Dir. James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo)
- Facing Ali (Dir. Pete McCormack)
- Food, Inc. (Dir. Robert Kenner)
- Garbage Dreams (Dir. Mai Iskander)
- Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders (Dir. Mark N. Hopkins)
- The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Dir. Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith)
- Mugabe and the White African (Dir. Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey)
- Sergio (Dir. Greg Barker)
- Soundtrack for a Revolution (Dir. Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman)
- Under Our Skin (Dir. Andy Abrahams Wilson)
- Valentino The Last Emperor (Dir. Matt Tyrnauer)
- Which Way Home (Dir. Rebecca Cammisa)