Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog’s documentary about a doomed bear enthusiast, scored better reviews than most narrative films this year. Yet last week, when the Academy announced its list of the 15 features eligible for a Best Documentary nomination, Grizzly was snubbed. (A cuddlier animal doc, March of the Penguins, made the list, as did Murderball and Mad Hot Ballroom.) The omission faintly echoes Best Documentary scandals of old, when movies like Hoop Dreams failed to garner nods, prompting the Academy to overhaul the doc voting process in 2001. Since then, Oscar’s doc savvy has improved (witness wins by Bowling for Columbine and The Fog of War). So what happened to Grizzly? ”Not enough voters thought it was Oscar-worthy,” says Arthur Dong, one of the documentary branch’s governors. ”Not to say it didn’t have its supporters, but it didn’t quite make it to the top 15.”
Posted November 25 2005 — 12:00 AM EST
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