One Thing That Hurt The AIDS Movie's Oscar Chances

David France's How To Survive A Plague--about ACT UP, the activist group that was founded in fury against the lack of attention to AIDS--won a bunch of awards and 100% raves before being nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary.

The winner was Searching For Sugar Man--about the search for a musical hero--which had also copped honors and praise, its admirers going absolutely wild for its offbeat and heartening story.

But I felt the Best Documentary competition became less of a horserace at one particular moment:

When they decided that the entire voting populace would vote on that category, not just the documentary people, which had previously been the case.

"Uh-oh," I moaned to friends.

"That's the end of Plague's chances.

"After all, these are the people who wouldn't even look at Brokeback Mountain because it made them squeamish."

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