Herzog, James Among the Snubs on Academy's 2011 Oscar Documentary Short List

Another year, another ruthless paring down of the Oscar-caliber documentary feature crop, with the acclaimed likes of Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss, Steve James's The Interrupters, Asif Kapadia's Senna and others falling by the wayside as the Academy whittled its 125 submissions to 15 shortlist contenders.

And honestly, this is a list I can live with. I wasn't crazy about Abyss and would have been more than a little frustrated to think that might finally be the film for which the Academy recognizes Herzog. Senna and The Interrupters (and, to a lesser degree, the batshit Errol Morris trifle Tabloid) got jobbed, no doubt, but when you realize that the Oscar is Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory's to lose anyway, the bitterness abates and you just tip your cap and content yourself to watch the rest of the game from the home-video sidelines. That said: Big ups to If a Tree Falls, Bill Cunningham New York and Pina (above), a few Movieline favorites the crew here wouldn't mind seeing advance to the Big Show.

Here are your final 15, via AMPAS; check back here Jan. 24 for the final nominees in this and the rest of the Oscar categories.

Battle for Brooklyn

Bill Cunningham New York


Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Jane's Journey

The Loving Story

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory


Project Nim

Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Sing Your Song


Under Fire: Journalists in Combat

We Were Here

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  • AS says:

    So excited to see Buck in the list. It's by far the best documentary I've seen this year. Really hope it gets nominated.

  • PLH says:

    Glad to see If a Tree Falls on the list. It should be required viewing for the Occupy Wall St. crowd. Senna and The Interrupters both deserved a nomination but Paradise Lost 3 looks tough to beat.

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