As Usual, Oscar Nominations Include Few Women


I was struggling to find a photo for this post, so I decided to find a happy one, of a woman directing a movie–Patty Jenkins, with Gal Gadot, on the set of Wonder Woman. 

This was the other image I was considering:


As usual the Oscar Nominations had only a handful of female nominees. There were only four categories (out of twenty) in which women achieved parity or had the majority of nominations. Many categories did not include any women.

This is a systematic problem that has to do with the simple fact that women aren’t getting as many jobs, especially big-budget studio films. But it’s also a PR problem, because the movies that are written and directed by women aren’t see as widely. Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace was an excellent movie, one that I think will be remembered a lot longer than Green Book, Vice, or Bohemian Rhapsody. I also thought Sandi Tan should have been recognized for Shirkers in the documentary category. Both Leave No Trace and Shirkers made a lot of top ten lists for critics, so these aren’t just my quirky choices. They are also both accessible movies that deserve a wider audience.

But the most disappointing category was writing. The only women recognized were Nicole Holofcener, for co-writing Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Deborah Davis for co-writing The Favourite (Best Original Screenplay). I think there could have been at least one more female pick in each category, especially when there were so many excellent screenplays written or co-written by womenWidows (Adapted), The Wife (Adapted), The Tale (Original), Tully (Original), Leave No Trace (Adapted), Wildlife (Adapted) and Private Life (Original). (Also, those are just the movies I saw. Other contenders might be Disobedience, Colette, and Juliet, Naked.)

I know everybody complains about the Oscars but, having spent the last year watching movies written and directed by women, I know that women are making movies that deserve recognition.

Below is a full list of female nominees (excluding acting, which are separated by gender):

Animated Short:
“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden, David Fine
“Bao,” Domee Shi
“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall

Adapted Screenplay:
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

Original Screenplay:
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Best Documentary Feature:
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short Subject:
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short Film: 
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley

Sound Editing:
“First Man,” Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan

Original Song:
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Production Design:
“Black Panther,” Hannah Beachler
“First Man,” Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
“Roma,” Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez

Costume Design:
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres
“Black Panther,” Ruth E. Carter
“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne




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