Forget the hype. Forget the fanfare. Forget the ringing endorsement from Kim Jong-Un. Despite all evidence to the contrary, “The Interview,” the much discussed – though poorly reviewed – film which caused such trouble, is not an Oscar contender for Best Picture.
The Academy did, however, acknowledge the Laura Poitras documentary exploring Edward Snowden’s decision to leak classified information about the NSA, and in the aftermath of that decision, the drastic ways such a choice impacted his life.
"We are really thrilled and really, really excited about this," Poitras told Reuters. "There are so many people who risked a lot to make this film possible."
“Congrats to my brilliant colleague Laura Poitras!!!! CITIZENFOUR nominated for Best Documentary Oscar,” said Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked as a chief consultant on the film.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 15, 2015
No stranger to controversy, the director was placed on a Homeland Security watchlist for her 2006 film, “My Country, My Country,” about life in Iraq during U.S. occupation. Her 2013 short, “Death of a Prisoner,” followed Guantanamo inmate Adnan Latif as he returned home to Yemen.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) January 15, 2015
The nominations were announced Thursday morning, and “Citizenfour” will compete against four other films in the category:
“Finding Vivian Maier,” tells of a nanny who became renowned as a street photographer after the posthumous discovery of her photographs.
“Last Days in Vietnam,” recounts the moral struggles of American soldiers during the closing weeks of the Vietnam War.
“The Salt of the Earth,” follows a landscape photographer on his quest to document the seven continents.
And “Virunga,” which documents the race to save mountain gorillas from extinction amidst civil war in the Congo.
Guardian film critic Ben Beaumont-Thomas favors “Citizenfour” to win, for its “incredible access and agenda-setting subject.”
After what’s always a contentious announcement, many – including Poitras herself – are criticizing the Academy for not nominating “Life Itself,” the documentary about the life and death of beloved film critic Roger Ebert.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on February 22.
In lieu of flowers, please send condolences to the Rogan and Franco team. Maybe next year, boys. Maybe next year.