It’s a new decade, a new year but Oscars are just as disappointing as ever. But hey, we’ve got to give it to them. They’re consistent at least. If you’re confused as to why I’m lashing out at Oscars, it’s because the academy doesn’t views women as the auteurs that they are. Imagine just how tried we all are by this constant snubbing of talent.
I mean could the Oscars be more obvious with their constant display of favouritism for the male directors!
The academy awards announced the nominations on Monday and surprisingly no female directors were nominated. No one! Literally not even one. I cannot emphasise much on the fact that they literally didn’t nominate at least ONE female director.
And this is where we call out Oscars for being too male centred and honestly that’s all there’s left to the prestigious award shows. The academy awards have snubbed so much talent that the credibility of the awards has continued to decline every year. And the close no representation of female artists in the major nominations shows that awards are just there to boost the egos of the white men.
In 91 years, the Oscar nominations have recognized only five women in the best-director category: Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties, 1975), Jane Campion (The Piano, 1994), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2003), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2009), and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2017). Bigelow is the only one who’s ever won, and no woman of color has ever been nominated.
Imagine, in 91 years only one woman has won an award for directing. This shows that the problem is not that women are not making good movies, the problem is they’re way down the ladder of the entire hierarchical structure of the move industry.
The outcry against the Oscar nominations this year is stronger because 2019 was the year in which women made groundbreaking achievements. From directing a record number of blockbusters and acclaimed hits and calling the shots on everything from Captain Marvel to Hustlers, female directors reigned over the movie industry.
Some of the snubbed movie’s that really did deserve a nomination for the best director includes Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which by the way has garnered a total of 6 nominations. Others snubs include Lulu Wang for The Farewell, or Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
The Reasons Behind the Snubs
I don’t want to discredit all the other nominations in the best category because they deserve the nomination, but I also can’t overlook the fact that it’s too male dominated. Not that Tarintino’s newest directorial venture, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wasn’t good or Martin Scorsese didn’t deserve a nomination for The Irishmen, but Greta Gerwig’s Little Women was at par with these movies. So, why wasn’t she nominated?
Let me tell you why. The simple answer is the Oscars’ are busy making white men feel validated for making the same movie again and again. Let’s be honest, anytime there’s a movie by Tarintino or Scorsese, they’re going to get nominated. No matter the number of other good movies, better movie’s then their’s come out, their’s is the one that’s going to get the acclaim.
Another reason as to why female directors don’t get the nominations is because most of the time they don’t have the financial backing. Movie’s nowadays are campaigned in a way that you already know the movie and the director is getting nominated. High budget movies’ such as Once Upon a Time and The Irishmen were surrounded by the Oscar buzz even before they had released!
Directorial’s by women are mostly small indie films, and they go ignored most of the time because they don’t get enough screenings due to the low campaign budget. However, streaming platforms have solved this problem for most of the women directors as there’s a platform where there can showcase their talent without worrying about how to buy the rights and if the money generated by the screenings will cover all the costs.
No matter for what reason the Oscars snubbed the female directors this year, the fact stands that the movie industry is only diverse when it deems that we’ve had enough backlash, lets nominate a person of colour or a women. Otherwise it’s always going to be about white men nominating white men for making white men movies.