csaLet the race begin! I got a “For Your Consideration” DVD copy of Madagascar today, and a special DVD player that will play specially encrypted Disney DVDs yesterday. That’s right – awards season is in full swing, but it’s all really leading up to the Big One, the Oscars.

And the march to Oscar night begins here, a Trail of Botox that will carry us through to March. The first step is the winnowing down of the Best Documentary category to fifteen possibilities from 82 – that field will be brought down to 5 on January 31st, when the Oscar nominations are announced. And here, in no real order, are the 15 films vying for those noms. Two out of every three will perish on this terrible forced march…

March of the Penguins
Mad Hot Ballroom
Murderball (yes!)
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Darwin’s Nightmare
After Innocence
The Boys of Baraka
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Favela Rising
Occupation: Dreamland
On Native Soil: The Documentary of the 9/11 Commission Report
Street Fight
39 Pounds of Love
Unknown White Male

March of the Penguins is, of course, the favorite, as everyone saw it. You can tell right now that a couple of these will never make it to the next stage, but if I had to bet I would make the final five:

March of the Penguins
Mad Hot Ballroom
Boys of Baraka
39 Pounds of Love