3 December 2012 1:16 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The Academy has named 15 films advancing to the voting process for Best Documentary Feature. They were chosen from 126 films that qualified for the award, under new rules that required branch members to screen and vote on all the films. This method would seem to favor the most high-profile films, and most of the shortlist films are well-known at this point, but I am happy to see "The Waiting Room" among the nominees. The most surprising omissions include Sundance entries "Queen of Versailles," which may have seemed too entertaining, "Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present," Kubrick doc "Room 237," and Amy Berg's "West of Memphis," which may have seemed too familiar after three respected "Paradise Lost" films, the last of which was nominated last year. The branch may also have objected to the degree to which producer PeterJackson, who invested in forensic research in order to solve the crime, inserted himself in the. »

- Anne Thompson

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