Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What's Up "Docs"? No Grizzly? No Way!

* This post has been edited to reflect the full list*

15 finalists named for the Oscar Feature Documentary race (which will be narrowed down to 5 nominees on January 31st).

March of the Penguins (my short review), Murderball, Mad Hot Ballroom, Rize and Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room

39 Pounds of Love, After Innocence, The Boys Of Baraka, Darwin's Nightmare, Unknown White Male, Street Fight, On Native Soil: The Documentary of the 9/11 Comission Report, Occupation: Dreamland, The Devil & Daniel Johnston, and Favela Rising
If you've seen any of these please share comments here. Do they have a shot at that 5 deep shortlist?

The excellent Grizzly Man (my capsule review) Werner Herzog's absence from this list is maddening. The Documentary branch can never get it together it seems.


Anonymous said...

I find it odd that in a year of terrific documentaries - a handful of these are better than 95% of the junk that is churned out - there are so many left off of the list. Grizzly Man is the first obvious choice, but what about Inside Deep Throat and The Aristocrats? Why do they always have films that no one has heard of in the list.

I think that the documentary rules need to be changed again. With documentaries becoming popular, they should be limited to only documentaries that have had a commercial release.


David Shultz said...

Wait...I thought Grizzly Man was a shoe in! How...I just can't imagine why they'd leave it off! It's arguably the best film of the year thus far, and many regard it highly, major critics, online critics, and cinephiles alike. Oh well, Eternal Sunshine only received two Oscar nods last year, so we all know how they roll.

dusty said...

hmm...the only one of these I've seen is Mad Hot Ballroom, which was fun. Far too slow at the end, but fun. I wouldn't be surprised to see it nominated. Its narrative isn't much different than Spellbound, but it's about New York City public schools who participate in *really* intense ballroom dance competitions. It feels at time like a Christopher Guest mockumentary -- A couple of the school's dance "coaches" (as well as one of the school's principals!) take the competition so personal it's eery.

Anonymous said...


thanks for your thoughts on Mad Hot Ballroom, but I think Nat was only referring to the underdogs when he asked if anyone had seen them.

Anonymous said...


thanks for your thoughts on Mad Hot Ballroom, but I think Nat was only referring to the underdogs when he asked if anyone had seen them.


Anonymous said...

Grizzly Man, Inside Deep Throat and The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill are very strange omissions.

Thoughts - After last year's Tupac Ressurection nod, I wouldn't be surprised to see Rize get a nod. Penguins and Ballroom sound pretty good solid at nominees.

With the underdog's section. Last year we had Weeping Camel as the controversial choice, this year Unknown White Male could fill the spot. I haven't seen it but apparently it's quite good. But when watching At The Movies with David and Margaret (Australia's most prominant critics, think Siskel and Ebert) David couldn't help getting the feeling that it was a fake. Because it was so out there and strange. But they both liked it.

THey also really liked Darwin's Nightmare, which from what I saw of it, looks like it could score a nod.


Joe R. said...

Here's my utterly uninformed predictions: Penguins; Ballroom; Rize; Murderball; and something else that is very subject-mattery.

Arkaan said...

After Innocence is about a group of individuals who, after being in prison for 10, 20 etc years, exonerrated after DNA evidence proves their innocence. Rotten Tomatoes has it @ 93% w/ 15 reviews in. It sounds like a stunningly powerful film.

I think it's in.

JavierAG said...

sigh. "grizzly man" is bound to win every single award for best documentary except the Oscar.

Anthony said...

Scandal of the year -- no "Grizzly Man." I know people in the Doc Branch, too...can't see how it got omitted. It's my #1 of the year so far.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that much. I'm sure Penguins will pick up a couple. But it is looking awfully like a Hoop Dreams 1994 situation, that being a film that deserved be be nominated for BEST PICTURE let alone documentary.

at least that one was in the running though.

My predix

After Innocence (after what Arkaan said)
Darwin's Nightmare (all about impoverished Africa if I remember correctly)
March of the Penguins
Mad Hot Ballroom

(yes, no Murderball. I think it will fail with the Academy for the same reason it failed with audiences)


Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »