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The Biggest Surprise Of The Oscar Documentary Shortlist Are The Snubs

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 18, 2010 10:53 AM
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So it begins. The fun (if you want to call it that) of the awards season is seeing who rises to the top and who gets overlooked. And this year, the outrage is starting a little bit early as the Academy has revealed their shortlist for Best Documentary feature, and biggest surprises are the number of high profile titles that have been snubbed.

Among the titles that surprisingly are not in contention this year include the well-received Joan Rivers doc "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," the Holocaust film "A Film Unfinished," the Internet mindbender "Catfish," "Last Train Home," "The Art Of The Steal" and "Marwencol." But the Academy didn't completely fumble the ball with the adventurous and highly entertaining "Exit Through the Gift Shop" making the first cut along with shoo-ins like "Inside Job," "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" and "Waiting For Superman."

This list will be whittled down to five nominees from which one will get a statue for their mantlepiece. We hope to hell that "Exit Through The Gift Shop" gets nominated if only to give Banksy a reason to thoroughly punk Hollywood on Oscar night. Check out the full nominees after the jump.

"Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” Alex Gibney, director (ES Productions LLC)
"Enemies of the People,” Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, directors (Old Street Films)
"Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)
"Gasland,” Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)
"Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould,” Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, directors (White Pine Pictures)
"Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)
"The Lottery,” Madeleine Sackler, director (Great Curve Films)
"Precious Life,” Shlomi Eldar, director (Origami Productions)
"Quest for Honor,” Mary Ann Smothers Bruni, director (Smothers Bruni Productions)
"Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)
"This Way of Life,” Thomas Burstyn, director (Cloud South Films)
"The Tillman Story,” Amir Bar-Lev, director (Passion Pictures/Axis Films)
"Waiting for ‘Superman,’” Davis Guggenheim, director (Electric Kinney Films)
"Waste Land,” Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)
"William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe,” Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, directors (Disturbing the Universe LLC)

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  • scott | November 19, 2010 5:06 AMReply

    Well, Catfish may very well not be a doc for one...

  • smac | November 19, 2010 3:50 AMReply

    "Marwencol" isn't eligible this year. Missed the window.

  • Matt | November 19, 2010 1:12 AMReply

    Also, I think The Art of the Steal is ineligible because it was eligible last year, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Also, I'm glad to see the underrated and mostly unseen William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe, a beautiful and inspiring film!

  • Matt | November 19, 2010 1:10 AMReply

    Seriously?! The Oath isn't nominated?! Fuck! One of the best docs about the War on Terror and it's not on the shortlist, WOW.

  • Chris | November 19, 2010 12:56 AMReply

    Biggest surprise? Are you kidding? The Best Documentary category is notorious for leaving out many of the best docs, from the short list to the final nominations. This happens literally every single year. It's not a surprise - it's tradition.

  • lauren | November 18, 2010 11:29 AMReply

    it's called A FILM UNFINISHED.

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