The 2019 Golden Globes nominees were announced this morning, and for the fourth year in a row, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association failed to nominate any women for Best Director.
The Globes has a dismal record when it comes to nominating and awarding women in this category. In the last ten years, the HFPA only nominated two women (Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 and 2013 for The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, respectively, and Ava Duvernay for Selma in 2015) for a total of three out of 45 possible nominations. Even worse, only one woman has ever even won Best Director: Barbra Streisand for Yentl in 1984. In fact, at last year’s Globes ceremony, presenter Natalie Portman called out the HFPA for failing to nominate any women for Best Director, announcing, “And here are the all-male nominees,” as she presented the category.
A common refrain in the industry, most recently and publicly stated back in October by Blumhouse Productions founder and producer Jason Blum, is that there just aren’t any female directors doing the work. But as Candice Frederick pointed out in an essay for BAZAAR.com, “There are plenty of female directors, and there have always been plenty—some before Blum even came around. They just haven’t been given the platform male directors have.” It really should go without saying that of course women are making movies worthy of inclusion in the Best Director and Best Picture categories. But the disappointing truth is that female-directed movies are barely making a dent in the awards season conversation this year.
The 2019 Globes nominated Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), and Adam McKay (Vice) for Best Director, while directors like Damien Chazelle (First Man), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and Steve McQueen (Widows) have all been floated as possible director nominees this Oscar season, and these are the films that feel like guarantees for Best Picture. Yet critically-lauded films helmed by women, like You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsey), Leave No Trace (Debra Granik), Private Life (Tamara Jenkins), and Destroyer (Karyn Kusama) are not getting the same kind of attention.
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