The 2020 Oscar nominations have been revealed and they came with some surprises, mostly in the form of movies and people that weren't nominated for their work in cinema last year. Most notably, not a single female director was nominated in the Best Director category. This is far from the first time in the Academy's history that this has happened, but with a plethora of worthy women directors available to nominate, this year's snub has been amplified.
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite) were nominated in the directing category. Part of the problem this year is that the Academy had a lot of potentially worthy nominees to choose from, but the fact that Little Women scored a Best Picture nomination and Greta Gerwig failed to get a nomination for her work as a director, for example, has proved to be a bad look. This mirrors what just happened at the 2020 Golden Globe awards.
Greta Gerwig had previously been nominated for her feature directorial debut Lady Bird, which makes her snub particularly surprising. Other female directors who could have potentially been nominated this year include Lulu Wang (The Farwell), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Alma Har'el (Honey Boy). Of particular note, The Farwell was totally shut out from the Oscars, as the heralded movie failed to score a single nomination. Not even after Awkwafina won Best Actress at the Golden Globes. Hustlers was also a huge, critically-acclaimed hit, so the fact that it was also shut out was surprising for many observers.
Issa Rae (Insecure) and John Cho (Searching) announced the director nominees for The Academy Awards this year. Rae set the tone for the conversation by saying, "Congratulations to those men." This echoes comments made by Natalie Portman two years ago at the Oscars when female directors were also snubbed. Portman said, "And here are the all-male nominees." Many movie lovers on social media were highly critical of the Academy's decision not to honor any female directors. In a broader sense, there was a distaste for the lack of diversity, leading to a revival of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag from a couple of years back.
Only five women have ever been nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars. Aside from Greta Gerwig, Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) have also earned nominations in the past. Bigelow remains the only woman to win the award. Despite the snubs, women made up a record 31 percent of this year's nominees, so some progress is being made in terms of representation for female filmmakers. The 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony is set for Sunday, February 9 on ABC. This information comes to us from the official Oscars.go.com website.