The lauded, mishandled film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired saw its high Oscar hopes perish Monday when the Academy announced its shortlist of candidates for this year's Best Documentary Feature prize. It joined other conspicuous snubs including the year's top-grossing doc Religulous and the follow-up doc from last year's winner Alex Gibney. But there's a bit of extra sting afflicting Wanted and Desired , which compellingly challenged Polanski's 1978 rape conviction and eventual exile in Paris and was a Sundance darling before HBO acquired it for broadcast last summer. As you might recall, that could have gone better — both then and now.The network's attempt to qualify the film for Oscar consideration — by burying it for a week in the farthest reaches of L.A. and Manhattan — denied it the "true release" Academy voters are fond of; a later theatrical run grossed less than $60,000 and hastened its fade from Oscar consideration. Religulous pulled the same stunt prior to premiering at Toronto in September; it fared better with Lionsgate behind it, earning $12.5 million since its release Oct. 1. But that's about all the gold it'll get. On the bright side, Werner Herzog is a step closer to his first Oscar nomination; the Bavarian maverick was shortlisted for his quirky Antarctic adventure Encounters at the End of the World . Any fan of his jilted 2005 classic Grizzly Man will agree justice delayed remains justice denied, but every bit helps. He'll face old pal and '04 winner Errol Morris, whose Iraq doc Standard Operating Procedure was shortlisted as well and whose vying against Herzog for an Oscar is itself the surreal, cerebral stuff of a feature-length doc in the making. Or at least we hope so; those guys film everything.