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November 18, 2008

Short list of Oscar docs

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We'd hoped to see "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story" show up on the short list, figured for sure that "Religulous" would, and hoped "Stranded" and "[email protected]" could somehow skirt that rule about not being eligible because they aired on TV.

Nope to all.

The committee that whittles down Oscar documentary submissions to a list of 15 has done just that, and in the process left off some worthy candidates. What, no "American Teen"? No "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired"?

Not to take away from the contenders who've made the cut (from a record 94 submissions), including several that we think will be in the final five come Oscar night like "Man on Wire," "Trouble the Water," "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" and Iraq war-based "Standard Operating Procedure." (Last year's winner, "Taxi to the Dark Side," also centered on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. torture of prisoners).

Will there be a make-good for Werner Herzog with his "Encounters at the End of the World" to correct the snub of "Grizzly Man"?

Go here for more on this year's hopefuls, and keep checking back to see which ones make it to the finals.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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