Ever wonder how on earth those cranky old men powers-that-be over at the Academy determine the list Oscar nominees? Well, now one piece of their criterion is revealed: Next year, the only documentaries that are even eligible to be considered by the Academy are those that received reviews in either the "New York Times" or the "LA Times."
Which means lots of docs are cut out of the race before it even begins. So, maybe it's just us, but does it seem weird for newspaper critics to suddenly be arbiters of Oscar-worthiness?
Maybe, but the Academy's goal is to lessen the number of qualifying films… and, well, this new rule will certainly do it. Inside Movies reports that members claim they have become overrun by boatloads of documentaries that are truly headed straight to TV. “There were over 100 entries in the category this year and it is just too much, it’s getting out of hand,” said Academy COO Ric Robertson.
The members of the documentary branch go through all of the films and select a batch of contenders—then put it out to a vote to the larger membership. As expected, this new hiccup has caused its share of criticism already, though it's unclear how much of a true impact it will have toward changing what film gets to take home the little bald man.
In the meantime, better start reading the paper again.
Also check out our Actresses to Watch in 2012 gallery: