Oscar Nominations Reflect a Good Year for Progressive Films

The Oscar nominations came out this morning and for the most part there were few surprises (Finally, it looks like the Coens are going to win one!). But if you're a progressive film fan there were a lot of reasons to celebrate. First of all, as Think Progress points out:

The nominees for the 80th Academy Awards were announced this morning and the nominees in the "Best Documentary Feature" category are almost all progressive films, including ThinkProgress favorites SiCKO, No End In Sight and Taxi To The Dark Side
"No End in Sight" (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
"Sicko" (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
"War/Dance" (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine
In the acting categories one of the most biggest and most pleasant surprises was a nomination for Tommy Lee Jones for the Iraq War-themed melodrama In the Valley of Elah a film which received rave reviews when it was released earlier last year but bombed at the box office in what became an unfortunate trend for serious films addressing the war.

Also, unapologetically progressive Hollywood stars George Clooney and Sean Penn saw their critical favorites of 2007, Michael Clayton and Into the Wild receive Oscar nominations. Clooney especially had a good morning. His film (in my opinion one of the very best of last year) was nominated for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Best Actor for Clooney himself.

Of course, the biggest story out of the Oscars this year may be that they never take place at all. The Writer's Guild strike is still very much on and there doesn't appear to be a resolution in sight. This morning several of the nominees made it clear under no circumstances would they cross a picket line to attend the Academy Awards:

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