The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce a monopolistic new rule this week, only allowing documentary films to be nominated for the 2013 Oscar if they were reviewed by either The New York Times or The Los Angeles Times

What does that mean? Previously, any documentary could be nominated if it’s been advertised in a major publication like Time Out New York or the Village Voice, which is much less relevant since last week anyway.

Now, tremendous power is placed into the hands of critics of just two news organizations. Unfair much? Snubbed filmmakers and/or distributors will be able to enter into an appeals process. Good luck.

Sidenote: Herzog’s death row doc Into the Abyss and Being Elmo didn’t make the shortlist this year. Sigh.