It was a schizophrenic, bad news, good news kind of week for women in Hollywood.
To quote Natalie Portman at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards ceremony, “And here are all the male nominees.” Yep, once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. failed to nominate any female directors, as we disappointingly learned when the contenders for the group’s 77th awards show were announced on Dec. 9.
As Variety and many other entertainment outlets aptly pointed out, this is particularly irksome given how many great movies were directed by women this year. Among them: Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell,” Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy,” Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart,” Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet,” Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers.”
Come on, you can’t tell me that not one of those films rose to the level of a nomination. I don’t get it. Or, perhaps I do get it, but the implications are too depressing to accept. It’s been four humiliating years since the last time a female director was nominated for a Globe, when Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) competed for the prize but lost. The only woman in Globes history to win the award was Barbra Streisand for “Yentl,” and she’s just one of five to ever be nominated.
The Oscars’ track record isn’t much better. It remains worth repeating — and repeating and repeating — that Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win a best director statuette (“The Hurt Locker”), and Gerwig, Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion and Lina Wertmüller are the only other women to be nominated in the category.
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Hopefully, Motion Picture Academy voters will see their way next month to nominating some (at least one?!) of the worthy female directors. If not, you can be sure a new wave of accusations of sexism will be leveled against the members.
So, you may ask, what was the good news for women this week?
As our new crack reporter Adam B. Vary wrote exclusively on Dec. 10, five of the highest-profile movies slated for release in the coming year — including four superhero titles — will be directed by women!
And maybe, just maybe, next year’s awards season will smile brightly on their achievements.