In Contention


15 Oscar docs short-listed

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 5:51 pm · November 17th, 2008

And here’s the list, from AMPAS:

“At the Death House Door”
“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”
“Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“Fuel”
“The Garden”
“Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts”
“I.O.U.S.A.”
“In a Dream”
“Made in America”
“Man on Wire”
“Pray the Devil Back to Hell”
“Standard Operating Procedure”
“They Killed Sister Dorothy”
“Trouble the Water”

The surprising exclusions are “Religulous” (though not really — it isn’t particularly good as a documentary, even if it is amusing and has a soul) and “Bigger, Faster, Stronger.”  The frontrunners, I’d guess, “Encounters at the End of the World,” “Man on Wire,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” “Standard Operating Procedure” and “Trouble the Water.”  But that’s me.




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11 responses so far

  • 1 11-17-2008 at 5:54 pm

    William Goss said...

    And Dear Zachary… is where exactly?

  • 2 11-17-2008 at 6:21 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Was the Polanski doc ineligible because of the HBO aspect? And I’d have liked “American Teen” to make it in, though I’m not surprised it didn’t.

    Pleased to see “Religulous” off the list — it wasn’t award-worthy by any measure.

    Frankly I’m surprised “Man on Wire” DID make it in. Cool, critically adored, not particularly ennobling — it had all the makings of a classic Academy snub in this category. Oh well, there’s still time for that.

  • 3 11-17-2008 at 8:40 pm

    Zac said...

    I would argue the I.O.U.S.A. has to be one of the front runners simply because of it’s subject matter.

  • 4 11-17-2008 at 8:47 pm

    Patrick F said...

    I’d assume Man on Wire is the predicted winner right now, although, Herzog is due… so they may give it to “Encounters…”

  • 5 11-17-2008 at 9:09 pm

    michael mckay said...

    I’ll say Herzog is due…he’s been snubbed by the Academy his entire filmmaking career.

  • 6 11-17-2008 at 11:55 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    I agree with Zac. In terms of subject matter, I.O.U.S.A. is the most important documentary of the year by far.

  • 7 11-18-2008 at 6:21 am

    AJ said...

    Dear Zachary didn’t make it?! Really. After the King of Kong was left off last year and Dear Zachary was left off this year I really have given up hope on this category.

  • 8 11-18-2008 at 12:12 pm

    michael mckay said...

    I think more then any other category at the Oscars, this one is the most subjective. In the end, I think it usually boils down to who or what the documentary is about, rather then the technical craft, or skill of the filmmakers involved. Some topics of a little more controversial nature, often times may turn off a certain number of the voters, and keep them from making the short list, or the final five.

  • 9 11-18-2008 at 10:27 pm

    Glenn said...

    Keep your eye on “Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts” as it is a doco about multiple Oscar-nominee Philip Glass and it’s directed by Oscar-nominee Scott Hicks.

  • 10 11-22-2008 at 11:01 am

    crazycris said...

    My vote’s for “Encounters at the End of the World”, but then I’m biased… (I’ve been down there), and I haven’t seen any others! :p
    But it was such an excellent look into some “real” Antarctic life, what makes the people who are crazy enough to go down there tic…