Ten years ago Errol Morris won the Best Documentary Oscar for his investigation of former Secretary of Defence, Robert S. McNamara. It’s telling that even Morris was surprised, noting in his speech that “I thought it would never happen.” Given his stance as one of the most important documentarians of his time, it genuinely was surprising that he had never even been nominated before let alone won. I guess it didn’t help that titles like Fast, Cheap & Out of Control and Gates of Heaven were likely easily swept aside as unsubstantial, but The Thin Blue Line? A Brief History of Time? It seemed like the documentary branch clearly weren’t fans.
Still, The Fog of War was fairly hard to ignore even for the Academy who have an innate ability to let grudges and bug bears continue for decades and vice versa (I hear Mia Farrow has an appointment to change her name to John Williams).