The nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes were announced this morning. Let’s see if you can spot the commonality among your options for Best Director!
Here they are: Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World), Steven Spielberg (The Post). Great, yes. They are all men.
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird is nominated for Best Musical or Comedy at the awards show. It was lauded in The New York Times as a “perfect” movie, won Best Film from the New York Film Critics Circle, and has broken box office records for an indie movie with a release of its size. Gerwig was nominated for Best Screenplay, and Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf were both nominated for their performances in the film. The snub feels not only unfair, but illogical.
In May, following the debut of The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola became the second woman to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in its 70-year history. Yet, she wasn’t nominated this morning either. Patty Jenkins was also ignored for Wonder Woman, the acclaimed blockbuster that saved the DC cinematic universe from the brink of death, had the biggest first weekend box office of any movie directed by a woman, and was hailed as one of the best superhero movies ever made.
In the last 20 years, only three women — Sofia Coppola (2003), Kathryn Bigelow (2009, 2012), and Ava Duvernay (2014) — have been nominated in this category and none of them have won. The Globes are a messy hodgepodge of an awards show, combining TV and film and somewhat arbitrarily sorting movies into drama and comedy categories, but they’re still seen as a reliable indication of which way Oscar nominations will trend in a couple of months. For its part, the Academy has nominated only four women for Best Director in 90 years. Kathryn Bigelow is still the only woman to have won the award, for her 2009 film The Hurt Locker.
Despite a broad, tenuous cultural shift in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, it seems not much has changed for women in Hollywood when it comes to recognition of outstanding art.