December 6, 2012

Why didn't those Hollywood lefties pick "2016: Obama's America" for the documentary Oscars?

Here's some ripe PR. Dinesh D'Souza put out the bait and Slate took it:
A total of 126 documentaries were eligible for an Academy Award this year, and a selection committee recently narrowed those down to 15 hopefuls for five nominations. Dozens were snubbed, but the producers of 2016: Obama's America say their film's exclusion is evidence of something more sinister.

The anti-Obama film directed by Dinesh D'Souza was roundly panned by critics, though it rode word of mouth to a $33 million gross. D'Souza said the film's success would have resulted in a nomination if it weren't for Hollywood's bias. "Liberal political ideology, not excellence, is the true standard of what receives awards," he said.
Obviously, there's no reason why D'Souza's movie — even if it was popular — should be a finalist instead of those other movies — which we know little or nothing about, but which the selection committee supposedly watched and judged according to a set of principles about what makes a movie Oscar-worthy. Big box office is never the key to winning an Oscar, and in the documentary category, there are some traditional standards that skew toward more neutral, historical/scientific presentations.

I'm sure D'Souza knows all this. It was savvy of him to leverage the occasion to get attention for his film, and I suspect Slate knows that. Slate will get attention for debunking D'Souza, even as it give him the publicity he wants. Everybody wins.

ADDED: You can, of course, purchase the movie, but if I were recommending documentaries that weren't nominated for Oscars, I'd have plenty of others ahead of that. ""Grey Gardens" and "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control" to begin with.

53 comments:

Pogo said...

Well, Michael Moore won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, "Bowling for Columbine". And Al Gore won for An Inconvenient Truth.

Yet both are utter bullshit and crappy documentaries (couldn't finish either of them myself).

So of course there's a lefty agenda.

Not that D'Souza's should have been included in the nominations, but the Oscars are full of leftist politics.

Shouting Thomas said...

D'Souza's accusation is unarguably true, and he has produce a sly PR provocation.

All criticism of Obama is racism! That's the party line.

One of my FB friends is the proprietor of one of the most prominent restaurants in Woodstock. He also hires bands to play on Friday and Saturday night. It is an axiom among people in the restaurant business that the job of a restauranteur is to be gracious and welcoming to everybody.

This proprietor has been firing off wild posts on FB over the nomination of Susan Rice. "Boehner is a fucking racist!" is one of the milder posts. This behavior by a restauranteur, even in Woodstock, shocked me.

I haven't even read the Woodstock Times for the past year, because I don't want to read the barrage of "racism" charges against anybody who dares to criticize Obama. Woodstock, predictably, is 98% white! And, a very large percentage of Woodstock residents migrated here from the city to get their kids out of the violence and chaos of NYC public schools and into our lovely, lily-white school system.

I see trouble ahead. My take on this is that Democrats are blind to where this is leading. The president is better protected by being open to criticism. The left is essentially enshrining Obama as emperor. Constitutional crisis ahead?

Scott M said...

Everybody wins.

Why do Hollywood and little league baseball in liberal neighborhoods have so much in common?

Beta Rube said...

So "Waiting for Superman" was also snubbed for legitimate and not political reasons? No bias here folks, move along.

Robert Cook said...

D'Souza is a petulant cry-baby, seeing in his failure to be honored a conspiracy to do him in by those with opposing political views. Suck it up, Dinesh....

MadisonMan said...

Constitutional crisis ahead?

I am disinclined to believe this. I read about it as Bush (W)'s term came to an end. It's a perennial fear of those who aren't in power -- everything is leading to a permanent power grab.

The Godfather said...

Looking at the recent Oscar winning documentaries does not support the idea that "in the documentary category, there are some traditional standards that skew toward more neutral, historical/scientific presentations." In addition to An Inconvenient Truth and Bowling For Columbine, in the last decade you've got Inside Job, The Cove, and Taxi To The Dark Side. They all are works of advocacy on hot political topics.

Of course D'Souza's getting publicity for himself and his film, but it's essential that conservatives use every opportunity to refute the notion that the liberal slant isn't a slant at all.

Matthew Sablan said...

Oscars are political in-grouping, which is why sometimes bad movies win simply because someone is due or was snubbed previously. They are not actual merit awards, so I don't see why he should care.

chickelit said...

Why didn't Hollywood recognize Eastwood's Gran Torino and instead gave everything to Milk?

Need we even ask these questions?

Herb said...

Well "Gasland" was oompletely inacurate and got nominated, same with most of Michael Moore's films.

jacksonjay said...

Yeah but, Drudge didn't give D' a pitcher for us to hyperanalyze!

Shouting Thomas said...

Cookie, you may be right that "D'Souza is a petulant cry-baby," but the left is indeed conspiring to shut out films that don't follow the party line.

Check out the Woodstock Film Festival, who's laughable motto is "Fiercely Independent!"

The festival was founded by a grant engineered by former Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D), and served openly for the first few years as his campaign rally. In 2008, it was openly a campaign rally for Obama. This is pretty much the case at all the well-known film festivals.

I work in the video industry, or at least I used to. You can't even get a job as a grip if you veer from the party line.

I think you know this, too.

LarryK said...

Obama 2016 was by any standard technically adept and presented a compelling thesis, even though I didn't buy much of it. In terms of factual accuracy, it was also far better than the hysterical, debunked screeds from Gore and Moore. But if Obama 2016 was even announced as a candidate for Best Documentary the entire crowd would boo, and if D'Souza walked on stage to accept an Oscar it would practically riot. Giving D'Souza an Academy Award would be worse for most Hollywood A-listers than finding a turd in the punch bowl at a post-Oscars party, or running out of cocaine.

drozz said...

"Big box office is never the key to winning an Oscar"

but it helps get you nominated. Avatar, titanic, etc.

EMD said...

So "Waiting for Superman" was also snubbed for legitimate and not political reasons? No bias here folks, move along.

Yes. Indeed. Ridiculous.


machine said...

Funny...Dick Morris said it would win in a blowout...

Sebastian said...

That the second-highest grossing documentary of all time wasn't nominated certainly is the result of sinister elements in Hollywood.

Sinister.
4 : of, relating to, or situated to the left or on the left side of something

Shouting Thomas said...

Were this happening to the left, they would call it "blacklisting."

machine said...

You mean "when this happened to the left"...see Reagan, R.

EMD said...

Curious to see what will be Vince Vaughn's fate after his involvement with GBTV.

He and Favreau (and RDJ) are certainly libertarian-y Hollywood types.

Shouting Thomas said...

You mean "when this happened to the left"...see Reagan, R.

No, I don't mean that.

The "blacklisting" myth of Hollywood is bullshit.

And, over the decades, I think leftists have made 7 million movies about the mythical blacklisting.

Shouting Thomas said...

The real issue here is...

The left thinks that suppressing expression by the right is justifiable and good. Because the right is patently and obviously evil.

Any criticism of the left is "blacklisting."

machine said...

Vince Vaughn is hilarious! 4 Xmas' cracks me up...

SteveR said...

This is par for the course, not that the film was deserving of a nomination but that certain movies are and win, only due to political leanings.

Waiting for Superman was a very fine documentary BTW.

Robert Cook said...

"The 'blacklisting' myth of Hollywood is bullshit."

Hmmm...those whose careers suffered or were destroyed as a result of the blacklist would, no doubt, disagree.

phx said...

Why didn't Hollywood recognize Eastwood's Gran Torino and instead gave everything to Milk?

Gran Torino = good movie. Oscar worthy? Not a chance. I still havent' seen Milk.

I think Eastwood's best movie was Million $ Baby, and then probably Unforgiven. Either one of those I could understand at least nominating. M $ Baby was worthy of winning.

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
"The 'blacklisting' myth of Hollywood is bullshit."

Hmmm...those whose careers suffered or were destroyed as a result of the blacklist would, no doubt, disagree.


Revealing how the left considers decades old career impacts so meaningful and abhorrent but defends modern politically driven career retalition. It's just another of the million or so principles that changed as the left evolved from the outsiders into the apparatchiks.

Shouting Thomas said...

Hmmm...those whose careers suffered or were destroyed as a result of the blacklist would, no doubt, disagree.

You'd have to talk about individual cases.

Most of the screenwriters involved continued to make a very good living, submitting their work through intermediaries.

Some of the screenwriters were commie agents who committed treason (and I don't mean simply by writing).

The left has tried also to make martyrs out of the traitors in the Manhattan Project who sold out U.S. military secrets to the Soviet Union.

You are sympathetic to commie traitors, Cookie.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, let me end by saying...

God Bless President Reagan!

One of the great heroes in the fight against Cookies' monstrous heroes... the old line commies.

Cookie, I'd like to find a different way to say it, but you're an enemy of all that is decent and sane. You long ago consciously embraced evil.

jacksonjay said...

"Waiting for Superman" was anti-union, right?

machine said...

so...not being nominated for an Oscar is the same as not being able to participate in your chosen profession...under your real name...


sounds right....

Marshal said...

jacksonjay said...
"Waiting for Superman" was anti-union, right?


It was pro-education, so yes.

Titus said...

D'Souza's documentary was the best movie I have ever seen. He is incredible and him not receiving an Oscar is both predictable and very sad.

Titus said...

Why didn't Brokeback Mountain win and instead Crush won?

I was deva.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

2016 achieved excellence in cinematic achievement and should be rewarded with the Oscar because of this reason.

The fact this reason is the essence of the claim for the reward itself existing is notable.

33 million dollars earned is recognition the movie was something, excellent film shouldn't be exempt from one of the things it presumable is.

Shouting Thomas said...

so...not being nominated for an Oscar is the same as not being able to participate in your chosen profession...under your real name...

Wasn't making that equivalence.

The great tragedy of blacklisting, which as I said has now been the subject of millions of leftist documentaries, wasn't a tragedy in any appreciable way.

As I said, try to even get a job as grip on a film set if you don't conform to the leftist party line.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

This is quite interesting.

D'Souza thinks his film is the best out there, and that is what the Academy is supposed to reward.

Proof his film was at least good was the box office, which for a documentary is much more important than for anything else considering documentaries aren't made for children like many blockbuster, non-Acadamy worthy material -- in their own mind at least -- is (e.g. Star Wars).

Auntie Ann said...

The movie was a disappointment. It was slow-paced and dull. It simply wasn't a very good movie. I went with another conservative and we both had the same reaction. I'd be hard pressed to nominate it (if I were asked) even for a conservative film award.

edutcher said...

This just might have something to do with the Oscars' ratings getting worse and worse.

machine said...

You mean "when this happened to the left"...see Reagan, R.

No, Shout's right.

We had a war with Communism and censored Communists (until '65), same way we censored Fascists when we had a war with Fascism.

When we stopped censoring Communists, we started losing.

Skipper said...

To think that politics doesn't influence "award" granting is just silly self-delusion. Academy members and staff are people who act on their beliefs and prejudices like everybody else.

Ann Althouse said...

"The movie was a disappointment. It was slow-paced and dull. It simply wasn't a very good movie. I went with another conservative and we both had the same reaction. I'd be hard pressed to nominate it (if I were asked) even for a conservative film award."

It was watchable and interesting, but it did not have serious artistry of a sort that would be needed to build a case of political discrimination.

Ann Althouse said...

It seems that the only argument is that some lefty documentaries with relatively low artistic value managed to get nominated.

I say those were mistakes, not that this was a slight.

Baron Zemo said...

The way for conservatives to voice our appreciation of the liberal bias in Hollywood is to press for the end of the "tax breaks" that they get. They make entirely too much money don't they Cookie. I mean they all say that millionaires should pay more taxes. So why not tax any salaries for movies stars over let's say a million dollars at 90% like they did in the 1950's.

This way the Hollywood Liberal elite will pay their fair share. We can spread it around like Obama said to Joe the Plumber. I mean how much money do they really need. Steven Speilberg and Woody Allen and Susan Saradon and Oprah and all the rest can pay some more so we can give everyone Obama phones.

It is only fair.

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
It seems that the only argument is that some lefty documentaries with relatively low artistic value managed to get nominated.

I say those were mistakes, not that this was a slight.


I think this is true. But since most people are arguing "this is an example of Hollywood political bias" rather than "this deserves an Oscar" your position doesn't seem to be in conflict.

Baron Zemo said...

The Hollywood Elite is exactly the people the President is talking about when he says that the rich have to pay more to help end the deficit.

Right?

Baron Zemo said...

When the studio system started to break up in the 1950's....the big stars like John Wayne and Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas were at a 90% tax rate on their personal earned income. They felt that it wasn't worth working anymore to pay it all out in tax so they turned down movies that could have employed a lot of people. It was one of the things that made Ronald Reagan into a conservative.

Of course then they figured out if they started their own production companies they wouldn't be taxed at the oppressive rates that destroyed any ambition. So you know what they started?

Corporations.

Imagine that.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"I say those were mistakes, not that this was a slight."

Why not both? Mistake after mistake after mistake...

dbp said...

Has any documentary film made 33 (or more) Million and not gotten at least a nomination?

I do not know the answer to this, but would be really amazed if so and with the caviet that if so, it is probably another conservative film.

jacksonjay said...

Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres nominated for Grammy in Best Spoken Word Album category.
How will they ever choose a winner? Obviously has to be First Lady Obama, right?

Boxi-leaks said...

Well, it contained over 100 actors, so is ineligible for documentary status anyway.

The writers advertised it as a docu, to give their claims legitimacy. It was actually a drama (fiction)

Boxi-leaks said...

Sorry, but you know, if everything negative to the Conservative movement if a "conspiracy" then are you surprised the Conservative movement has a reputation for being ridiculous at the moment?

Boxi-leaks said...

You know:

1: it contained 100+ actors, so would have never been considered as a documentary anyway.

2: Dinesh used actors, as, to be blunt, he had no evidence for any of the claims, so had to create them himself.

3: It was panned by all critics

4: It has a rating of 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, so was also hate my most viewers

5: 50% of the claims he made were proven to be false after it was released

6: It was described as a "1 hour long attack ad" by a noted critic

You know, Al Gore and Michael Moore may have got things wrong, but their pieces were respected documentaries as they only relied on actual events. They were commentary on things that happened.

Dinesh just hired actors, to act out his own, ridiculous theories......



O Ritmo Segundo said...

Help stop the liberal bias against bad taste.