15 films eligible for Best Documentary Feature

This news is almost two weeks old, now, but since I posted the short list of films that are eligible for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, I figured I should also post the short list of films that are eligible for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature:

  1. At the Death House Door
  2. The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
  3. Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  4. Encounters at the End of the World
  5. Fuel
  6. The Garden
  7. Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
  8. I.O.U.S.A.
  9. In a Dream
  10. Made in America
  11. Man on Wire
  12. Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  13. Standard Operating Procedure
  14. They Killed Sister Dorothy
  15. Trouble the Water

For what it’s worth, J.R. Jones of the Chicago Reader notes that the list does not include any of the four top-grossing documentaries of the year: Religulous, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Shine a Light and Young@Heart. Apparently the Academy has something against theological satires and movies about old people singing rock’n’roll classics.

Other films omitted from the list, ranked in order of the frequency with which certain bloggers (listed below) mentioned them, include: Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, The Order of Myths, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, Stranded, The Unforeseen and Waltz with Bashir.

The bloggers who cited these omissions are: Karina Longworth, Andrew O’Hehir, David Poland, Anne Thompson and Jeffrey Wells (x2).

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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