Gore 'thrilled' by Oscar nominations

(AP) Who says politics is show business for ugly people?

"An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's film on the perils of global warming, scored two Oscar nominations Tuesday - for best documentary feature and best original song.

While he is not technically a nominee - the film's director, Davis Guggenheim, won the nod, as did singer Melissa Etheridge for the song "I Need to Wake Up" - Gore said he was "thrilled" that his movie was honored.

"The film ... has brought awareness of the climate crisis to people in the United States and all over the world," Gore said in an e-mail statement. "I am so grateful to the entire team and pleased that the Academy has recognized their work. This film proves that movies really can make a difference."

Aides say the former vice president plans to walk the red carpet with Hollywood's beautiful people at the Academy Awards ceremony next month.

Guggenheim said he wasn't expecting a nomination but welcomed the fresh attention from the Academy's recognition. He said he spoke to Gore and asked him, "'Are you ready to go to the show?' I think he's ready. For years he's been in the wilderness on global warming. Now he's ready for his grand walk. Now he's at the Academy Awards. It's a hero's return."

Speaking at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Tuesday night, Gore said he won't let the star treatment change him. He said his model will be Rin Tin Tin, because the dog was the same after his TV show as he was before it.

In a private meeting earlier with students from Augustana and area high schools, one asked Gore how it felt to be a movie star, of sorts.

"What do you mean 'of sorts?'" he fired back.

"An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles Gore's slide show on global warming, has been a critical and box office success, bringing in more than $24 million to make it the third highest-grossing documentary in history. A companion book has been on national best-seller lists for months.

Gore narrowly lost the 2000 presidential contest to Republican George W. Bush in a disputed election. The Democrat has said he's not planning to run for president again but also has not ruled it out.

One candidate who is running, Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., said the Oscar nomination would increase attention to global warming.

"I think it's wonderful. I think it is not only an outstanding film, but it has created a genuine cultural shift in how people think about what I believe to be one of the most important issues of our times," Obama said in response to questions as he left a meeting of Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Other films nominated for best documentary feature include "Deliver Us From Evil," about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church; "Iraq in Fragments," about the Sunni-Shiite conflict in that country; "Jesus Camp," about a summer camp for evangelical Christians, and "My Country, My Country," about the months leading up to the January 2005 elections in Iraq.


Associated Press writers David Germain in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nedra Pickler in Washington and Dirk Lammers in Sioux Falls, S.D., contributed to this report.