Documentary Shortlist Revealed

AMPAS released the list of 15 films that have made it on to the shortlist for the Documentary Feature category today. This is usually the moment where all the bloggers have a fit over some high-profile doc that got “snubbed” by not even making it this far, but this year all the biggest names appear to be present. If there’s any surprise omission, it’s “A Film Unfinished,” a doc on the making of a Nazi propaganda film in the Warsaw Ghetto that was acclaimed on the festival circuit. Yes, the Academy snubbed a Holocaust film.

You could also complain about the lack of some more populist fare like “Catfish” or “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” but given the Academy’s tastes those were unlikely to get very far anyway. In fact, I’m delighted to see that “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Banksy’s crowd-pleasing, irreverent, satirical pop-art documentary made it to the shortlist – I’ll still keep my expectations low but would really be thrilled to see the film pop up amongst the nominees. After all, who would show up to represent the film? Thierry Guetta? Banksy himself, incognito or otherwise disguised? You can’t tell me this wouldn’t be fun.

This remains an almost impossible category to predict, but I think “Inside Job” and “Waiting for ‘Superman'” both have great shots at nomination, along with maybe “Restrepo” (which follows an American military unit embedded in Afghanistan). Here’s the full list:

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer”  (<— HE’S EVERYWHERE, I TELL YOU), Alex Gibney
“Enemies of the People”, Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”, Banksy
“Gasland”, Josh Fox
“Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould”, Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont
“Inside Job”, Charles Ferguson
“The Lottery”, Madeleine Sackler
“Precious Life”, Shlomi Eldar
“Quest for Honor”, Mary Ann Smothers Bruni
“Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“This Way of Life”, Thomas Burstyn
“The Tillman Story”, Amir Bar-Lev
“Waiting for ‘Superman'”, Davis Guggenheim
“Waste Land”, Lucy Walker
“William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe”, Emily and Sarah Kunstler

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