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.”