What Might Have Been Nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Documentary of 2014?

By  · Published on December 11th, 2014

What Might Have Been Nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Documentary of 2014?


Another year of Golden Globes nominations, another year of documentaries being excluded from this prominent awards event. Whatever your feelings about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, they still make a big splash every January with their star-studded televised ceremony, and such a widely watched show would still be a great platform for the recognition of nonfiction films that could use the attention. The Golden Globes did honor docs in their own category way back in the 1970s (specifically from 1973 to 1977), but since then it’s been very difficult for such films to be nominated. Unlike the Oscars, which could but never has, the Golden Globes can’t really recognize a doc in their best picture categories, which are specifically either for comedy or drama.

It’s not impossible for films to be nominated in other areas, however, as we saw Waltz with Bashir not only nominated for best foreign language film in 2009 but actually win the award. Of course, that isn’t a traditional doc, and it’s actually the only time the HFPA has honored a nonfiction film in any category since doing away with the doc award. And docs could qualify in a couple other categories. Chasing Ice and An Inconvenient Truth were both Oscar-nominated for best song, for instance (the latter also won), but neither was recognized for the equivalent Golden Globe. Outside of the HFPA’s retired, short-lived doc category, the only other doc to win a Golden Globe was in 1954 when A Queen is Crowned was given a special award for “Best Documentary of Historical Interest.”

In their lack, I like to imagine what docs might have been nominated for Golden Globes were there an award for these films. It’s always a bit of a joke, though, poking fun at the reputation the HFPA has for nominating movies and performers that will allow them to hobnob with stars at the ceremony and related events. So, most of the following 10 titles (I like to offer extra possibilities) have some sort of celebrity attached in some capacity, whether they be producers, directors or subjects.

1. Life Itself— This would have been an obvious pick, but not because Golden Globe nominee and winner and honoree Martin Scorsese and Golden Globe nominee and winner Steve Zaillian are executive producers on the film. Its subject, the late film critic Roger Ebert, is one of the HFPA members’ own, sort of. And we already know that the organization was happy to honor him, as they bestowed a grant to Ebertfest (aka the Roger Ebert Overlooked Film Festival) this past August at a big star-studded banquet in Beverly Hills.