You know what we love? A good, old-fashioned documentary. Sometimes, that's really the stuff.
And this year there's been an exceptionally strong batch of documentary features, which explains why more than 100 of them were submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for this year's Oscars. Now, though, the suits at the Academy have trimmed the field to just 15 finalists... and the controversial "Catfish" and crowd-pleasing "Babies" are nowhere to be seen.
"Catfish," of course, purported to be a doc about a guy who falls for a Facebook friend only to find out that his new internet love is (spoiler!) a lying liar who lies. Some people felt it was probably about as real in documentary terms as "Paranormal Activity 2," however, which may explain why it didn't make the cut.
"Babies," the much-buzzed about feature showing how infants in wildly different parts of the world receive wildly different upbringing, didn't get in with the cool kids either.
Some of the year's other big docs, on the other hand, did make the grade, including Davis Guggenheim's acclaimed look at the education system, "Waiting for Superman." Also up for the Academy's biggest honor: "The Tillman Story," which explores the government coverup following the death of former NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.
Here's the complete list of nominees:
• “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)