The Academy has just announced the 15 films on the shortlist for Best Documentary, and glaringly absent from the list is Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. It’s a surprising omission (Moore did submit the film) since he won this category with 2002’s Bowling for Columbine. For the most part, though, it’s a good group of films. After ignoring Bill Maher’s Religulous last year, the documentary branch has included several commercially successful entries, like The Cove, Every Little Step, and Valentino: The Last Emperor. The rest of the shortlist: The Beaches of Agnes, Burma VJ, 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, and Which Way Home.
A few other worthy contenders that didn’t make the cut: Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Tyson, and Afghan Star. And of course, This Is It, which wasn’t submitted in time but is eligible for Best Picture.