HitFix tallies up the numeric significance of this year's crop of nominees
1: Number of Best Documentary Feature nominees that helped free innocent men
Much attention lately has sprung up around the Peter Jackson-financed documentary "West of Memphis" that's currently screening at Sundance, and while it's certainly justified, the fact remains that there would've been no "West of Memphis" without Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's "Paradise Lost" films. That point was driven home by today's inclusion of "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" in the list of Best Documentary Feature nominees; the series of films undoubtedly served as the linchpin for the groundswell of public (not to mention celebrity) support received by the wrongfully-imprisoned (now freed) Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin in the first place. In context, of course, the fact of whether the film wins an Oscar or not can't help but feel like small potatoes.