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Oscars: Penguins in Antarctica Vs. Political Vultures in Newark, N.J.

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The Academy Award nominations for best documentary are an annual scandal, and this year is no exception. But the fact that Werner Herzog’s fascinating character study Grizzly Man was conspicuously absent from the list of nominees shouldn’t blind anyone to the quality of what did get nominated, and for New Jersey residents it’s particularly interesting to see Street Fight, Marshall Curry’s fine documentary about the sulfurous 2002 mayoral race in Newark, standing tall among the nominees.

Apparently more than a few New Jersey political junkies had fantasies of seeing Newark mayor Sharpe James and his antagonist Cory Booker in the audience on Oscar night, but ’tis not to be. Anyway, the odds-on favorite to win is March of the Penguins, and as much as I enjoyed that film, I’d love to see endearing penguins get muscled aside by political vultures. A man can dream, can’t he?

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Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.

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