The documentary department of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offers a lot of long-winded excuses to justify its not extending an Oscar nomination to “The Thin Blue Line,” a film saluted by critics across the country as one of 1988’s best. Fact is that Errol Morris’ documentary just was seen by too many people!
As records of the past 20 years attest, barely 10% of the documentary nominees have made it into mainstream movie houses. The academy prefers offbeat entries that--despite their high quality--die quietly after running in a few art houses or wind up as PBS TV specials.
DAVID R. MOSS
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