It was an anticipated takeaway from this year’s Oscar nominations announcement, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate: Despite a number of worthy contenders to choose from, female filmmakers were shut out of the directing category.
From Lynne Ramsay’s ‘You Were Never Really Here’ to Debra Granik’s ‘Leave No Trace’, great work from deserving women was certainly on the table. Ramsay, in fact, was the most laureled filmmaker on the critics’ awards circuit after Alfonso Cuarón.
Marielle Heller and Chloe Zhao were other acclaimed players that arguably deserved to make the lineup. Tamara Jenkins, Karyn Kusama, Mimi Leder and Josie Rourke were options as well.
Nominees were ultimately Cuarón for ‘Roma’, Lee for ‘BlacKkKlansman’, Yorgos Lanthimos for ‘The Favourite’, Adam McKay for ‘Vice’ and Pawel Pawlikowski for ‘Cold War’.
Clearly the critics did what they could, particularly with Ramsay, Granik and Zhao. In the cases of Bleecker Street’s ‘Leave No Trace’ and Sony Classics’ ‘The Rider’, tight awards budgets are certainly part of the equation.
But it’s a particularly sour note to hit a year after Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated by the Academy’s directors branch, and amid an ongoing discussion of gender parity in the industry.
This year’s best picture nominees were BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born and Vice.