Morgan Neville's documentary on the life and work of Fred Rogers came out back in June, and it pulled on the heartstrings of millions. The unique combination of nostalgia, behind the scenes revelations and cultural history made it one of the biggest documentaries of 2018, so it was a surprise to many when the movie did not show up on the Oscar 2019 nomination list.
The category for Best Documentary Feature had five movies on the list. R.B.G., a film about the career of Supereme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, made th cut, as did the look at a Jihadist lifestyle, Of Fathers and Sons. Other nominees included the Rust Belt youth documentary Minding the Gap, the slice of life documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening and the rock-climbing documentary Free Solo.
The omission of Mr. Rogers did not take long to set in. As soon as the list was out, fans were on Twitter decrying the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for leaving it out. Everyone from casual viewers to professional film critics was outraged, and the move was one of the hottest topics of the morning before long.
"Congrats on all the [Academy Awards] nominations, but I still can't get over the fact that [Won't You Be My Neighbor?] wasn't nominated for Best Documentary Feature!" one person wrote.
"I’m livid at the Won’t You Be My Neighbor? snub," added another. "How could they???"
Many people — even some of those who were outraged — noted how ironic it was for Mr. Rogers to cause so much anger. They joked that he would not have approved of the way they were venting their feelings.
"I see I’m not the only person disappointed by the lack of Won't You Be My Neighbor? #OscarNominations," one person wrote. "What do you do with the mad that you feel?"0comments
Won't You Be My Neighbor? had a universal appeal among hardcore film buffs and casual viewers alike. At the time of this writing, it has an incredible 98% fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer, and a 95% positive rating with the audience.
While it may not be in the running for a trophy, the Oscar nominations certainly brought Won't You Be My Neighbor? back into public consciousness. The movie is currently available to rent or buy through Amazon Prime.