Round-up: Oscar's doc rule change favors theatrical visibility

Posted by · 7:50 am · January 9th, 2012

Credit where it’s due to the Academy: when the high number of egregious omissions in this year’s documnentary Oscar longlist (from “Senna” to “The Interrupters” to “Tabloid”) made it clear that something in the system was broken, they didn’t waste too much time attempting a fix. Whether their solution works remains to be seen: in future, any doc hoping to compete will need to be reviewed in either the New York Times or Los Angeles Times to qualify, spelling the end of phantom qualifying runs. Some are protesting that this discriminates unfairly against smaller works with sketchier distribution, though I don’t think it’s unreasonable to limit the competition to films that have, at some point, been made available to the public in a theatrical context: it’s no different from how the general Oscar categories work, after all. Perhaps the Best Foreign Language Film award should go the same way? [New York Times]    

Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore approves of the change, as does Steve James, the twice-snubbed director of “The Interrupters” and “Hoop Dreams.” [IndieWire]

A superb piece by Tim Robey about why “The Iron Lady” switched composers — from Clint Mansell to Thomas Newman — and what it suggests about an uncertain film. [The Telegraph]

Speaking of soundtracks, Jim Emerson reflects on the experience not just of watching “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but listening to it. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Critics unsold on Keira Knightley’s performance in “A Dangerous Method” are “reveling in their own plainness of appearance, supercilious intellectualism and compulsions to express bitchiness.” Uh, okay. [Women and Hollywood

David Poland talks to the crafts artists behind “War Horse”: Janusz Kaminski, Michael Kahn, Rick Carter and Lois Burwell. [Hot Blog]

An interview with “W.E.” and “Brighton Rock” star Andrea Riseborough, who “may be the best and brightest actor of her generation.” Shame about the films. [The Guardian]

Dan Kois on why “Captain America” was 2011’s best comic-book movie… and why “Weekend” is great. An obvious segue. [Slate

Tilda Swinton on “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and why winning an Oscar is nothoing more than “an amazing piece of luck.” [Los Angeles Times]

Comments Off on Round-up: Oscar's doc rule change favors theatrical visibility Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: HitFix · In Contention