If this seems like old news, it’s not. Jonas Poher Rasmussen‘s exceptional animated documentary Flee has just been nominated for two Critics Choice Awards. Previously, the film was nominated for two Critics Choice Documentary Awards. Both the CCAs and the CCDAs are presented by the Critics Choice Association (of which I’m a member). Technically, the organization has now recognized Flee with four nominations in total.
At the CCDAs, the film was up for Best Documentary Feature and Best Director, but it lost in both categories (Questlove’s debut, Summer of Soul, won the former while Questlove tied with The Rescue directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin for the latter). Now, Flee is nominated for the awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Foreign Language Film. The primary language of the film, which hails from Denmark, is Danish.
Critics Choice Precedents
The appearance of a documentary among the main Critics Choice Awards contenders is not unheard of. Last year, Collective made its way into the Best Foreign Language Film category despite having been snubbed by the CCDAs the same year. And in 2019, RBG received a nomination for Best Song (“I’ll Fight”) at the CCAs. The film had also won the Critics Choice Documentary Award for Best Political Documentary.
Before 2016, the CCAs had a single Best Documentary Feature award as part of its main show. But docs occasionally appeared up in other categories, such as Best Song. In 2008, the animated documentary Waltz with Bashir did not receive a nomination for Best Documentary Feature. But like Flee it was recognized in the Best Animated Feature and the Best Foreign Language Film categories. It won in the latter.
Other films based on nonfiction stories nominated at the CCAs this year include the biopics and historical dramas Spencer, King Richard, House of Gucci, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Being the Ricardos, and Tick, Tick…Boom. Other movies more loosely inspired by true stories include Licorice Pizza, The French Dispatch, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical Belfast.