I missed Peter Howell‘s 8.5 scoop about the Tokyo Film Festival shunning The Cove. The Toronto Star critic got it the day before from Cove director Louie Psihoyos during a Toronto promotional visit. Psihoyos had been told that very day — August 4th — that Tokyo wasn’t taking The Cove. He said he’d been warned by a Tokyo festival director that the film might not make the cut for political reasons.

Howell tried to get a reaction from the Tokyo people…nothing. “It seemed like a done deal then,” Howell informs, “and I haven’t seen anything either online or off that contradicts my Aug. 5 report.”

So now the ball really is in Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu‘s court. If the festival changes its mind about The Cove, fine. But if not, as I wrote earlier today, Inarritu’s serving as jury president will be seen, at the very least, as an unfortunate gesture. It will indicate that he’s more or less down with the festival’s decision. Or is certainly not disputing it in any meaningful way. Definitely an unseemly situation. He should really think this one over. What’s right is right.

Update: In Contention‘s Kris Tapley has pushed this thread along and contributed his two cents.