Anvil, Michael Moore snubbed by Academy: No Oscar nomination next year!

by Eric Melin on November 19, 2009

in Blogs

capitalism a love story 2009It happens almost every year.

This is deeply disappointing but unfortunately not surprising at all. The two best documentaries I’ve seen this year have just been screwed out of a shot at an Oscar nomination.

“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” and Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” were not picked as one of 15 films deemed eligible by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be nominated for an Oscar.

Also left off the list was Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim’s “It Might Get Loud” starring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White and the high-profile doc “The September Issue.” WTF?

anvil! the story of anvil 2009These movies join a long and distinguished list of classic documentaries that got screwed by the Academy such as “The King of Kong,” Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man,” Kurt Kuenne’s “Dear Zachary,” “Hoop Dreams” (which was nominated for Best Editing),  “Crumb,” and “American Movie.”

“Soundtrack for a Revolution,” which features the Roots, the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Legend, and Wyclef Jean, however, was nominated. This is the first time I’m hearing about this movie.

By the way, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” wasn’t released before the Oscar deadline, so it’s ineligible for the documentary category this year. Some insiders say it has a chance at the Best Picture category (which is now expanded to 10 nominees).

Here are the lucky nominees. The three most high-profile docs are in italics:

  • The Beaches of Agnes
  • Burma VJ
  • The Cove
  • Every Little Step
  • Facing Ali
  • Food, Inc.
  • Garbage Dreams
  • Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers
  • Mugabe and the White African
  • Sergio
  • Soundtrack for a Revolution
  • Under Our Skin
  • Valentino The Last Emperor
  • Which Way Home

What are some of the other high-profile worst Oscar documentary snubs in history?

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Xavier November 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Rize in 2005 I thought was deserving of an oscar nom

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2 Xavier November 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Rize in 2005 I thought was deserving of an oscar nom

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3 Xavier November 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

why were they considered ineligable was it a technicality or were they just not picked as part of the best 15 documentaries of the year?

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4 Xavier November 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

why were they considered ineligable was it a technicality or were they just not picked as part of the best 15 documentaries of the year?

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5 ChrisKnudsen November 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Roger & Me, Thin Blue Line, and there are some others.

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6 ChrisKnudsen November 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Roger & Me, Thin Blue Line, and there are some others.

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7 ChrisKnudsen November 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Oh yeah, Atomic Cafe.

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8 ChrisKnudsen November 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Oh yeah, Atomic Cafe.

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9 Tommy Fretless November 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Am I really going to be the only person to mention Air Guitar Nation? That movie set my entire life in a different direction. Also, In the Realms of the Unreal was ALMOST as life changing. The Fog of War and Why We Fight were never nominated (I think, but not positive). The Oscars are always more politics than actual film evaluation, anyway.

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10 Tommy Fretless November 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Am I really going to be the only person to mention Air Guitar Nation? That movie set my entire life in a different direction. Also, In the Realms of the Unreal was ALMOST as life changing. The Fog of War and Why We Fight were never nominated (I think, but not positive). The Oscars are always more politics than actual film evaluation, anyway.

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11 Eric Melin November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

The snubbed films this year were voted on by a panel and considered not to be in the top 15.

Hard to believe the Maysles’ films weren’t even nominated (or any of Errol Morris’ up until “Fog”).

“The Fog of War” won! It was Errol Morris’ first nom and win…

“Air Guitar Nation,” “Why We Fight,” and “In the Realms of the Unreal” were great as well.

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12 Eric Melin November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

The snubbed films this year were voted on by a panel and considered not to be in the top 15.

Hard to believe the Maysles’ films weren’t even nominated (or any of Errol Morris’ up until “Fog”).

“The Fog of War” won! It was Errol Morris’ first nom and win…

“Air Guitar Nation,” “Why We Fight,” and “In the Realms of the Unreal” were great as well.

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13 More Cowbell November 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Always thought “Microcosmos” got screwed. Maybe because it was French it was ineligible?
And “Hoop Dreams” and “Crumb” should have been straight up Best Picture nominees. I never understood why a film can’t be eligible for both.

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14 More Cowbell November 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Always thought “Microcosmos” got screwed. Maybe because it was French it was ineligible?
And “Hoop Dreams” and “Crumb” should have been straight up Best Picture nominees. I never understood why a film can’t be eligible for both.

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15 More Cowbell November 20, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Oh, yeah, “Truth Or Dare” got totally screwed, too.

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16 More Cowbell November 20, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Oh, yeah, “Truth Or Dare” got totally screwed, too.

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17 E.Wrann November 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Skrew the Oskars! Once I pitched the notion the Oscars has anything to do with good movies I stopped being shocked about what was nominated or what won. Now I just seethe…..

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18 E.Wrann November 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Skrew the Oskars! Once I pitched the notion the Oscars has anything to do with good movies I stopped being shocked about what was nominated or what won. Now I just seethe…..

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19 Dana November 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Cowtown Ballroom: Sweet Jesus!

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20 Dana November 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Cowtown Ballroom: Sweet Jesus!

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21 Camille December 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

While I loved “Anvil” and “Capitalism” and think they should both be nominated, I feel compelled to defend “Soundtrack for a Revolution.” It was screened at the Chicago International Film Festival. The description didn’t sound very interesting to me. It seemed like it would be too similar to other civil-rights-era docs, so I didn’t plan on seeing it. But then it won the award for best documentary, so I went to the last screening and it was absolutely fantastic. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. The Oscar nomination is highly deserved.

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22 Camille December 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

While I loved “Anvil” and “Capitalism” and think they should both be nominated, I feel compelled to defend “Soundtrack for a Revolution.” It was screened at the Chicago International Film Festival. The description didn’t sound very interesting to me. It seemed like it would be too similar to other civil-rights-era docs, so I didn’t plan on seeing it. But then it won the award for best documentary, so I went to the last screening and it was absolutely fantastic. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. The Oscar nomination is highly deserved.

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