Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Oscar Noms Have New York Connection
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Two films in contention for the Best Documentary designation at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday have strong ties to New York.
Documentaries "Inside Job," a polemic on the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, and "Gasland," from New York-based filmmaker Josh Fox, are in a pool of five documentaries vying for the coveted statuette.
In "Inside Job," two Columbia University Professors — Glenn Hubbard and Frederic Mishkin — get raked over the coals for failing to anticipate the crash, and for producing academic research friendly to Wall Street. There's also a familiar voice: former Governor Eliot Spitzer.
That film is up against "Gasland." The movie examines the environmental and social costs of the natural gas boom. If "Gasland" wins, it will be a boost for the opponents of the gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, which is now under review in Albany.
To show support for the movie, Best Supporting Actor nominee Mark Ruffalo said he will be wearing a pin with the image of a blue droplet. He said it symbolizes the danger gas drilling poses to the water supply: "I'm talking to some of my other actor friends, and trying to convince them to wear them as well," Ruffalo told WNYC.
Ruffalo, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "The Kids Are Alright," said he doesn't think he'll win but if he does, don't expect him to work in his support for the film into his acceptance speech.
"I don't think I'm gonna win, honestly," Ruffalo said. "I feel like it being represented there on my lapel will bring enough interest. I'll be tweeting about it. I've been talking about it in interviews."
The actor lives in the Hudson Valley, in an area where gas drilling has been proposed. The gas industry disputes claims that fracking is a danger to water supplies, including New York City's upstate reservoirs.