No Women Were Nominated For The Best Director Oscar This Year

Written by on January 25, 2023

Gina Prince-Bythewood, Sarah Polley and Domee Shi, three women who directed acclaimed films in 2022, but were not nominated for the Best Director Oscar on Tuesday.

(HuffPost) – Following two consecutive years of women winning the Best Director Oscar, the Academy completely ignored the many women who directed acclaimed movies this year, nominating an entire category of men for Best Director on Tuesday morning.

In the words of Issa Rae, who presented the Oscar nominations in 2020, the last time there was an all-male group of Best Director nominees: “Congratulations to those men.”

Not on the list was Gina Prince-Bythewood, who led an incredible cast and crew of Black women in making the historical epic “The Woman King,” which has grossed nearly $70 million at the box office. Nor was Sarah Polley, who beautifully crafted “Women Talking,” a small but mighty film about a group of Mennonite women that, as the film unfolds, becomes a microcosm for societal questions on forming democratic systems and trying to escape abusers and abusive institutions. Or Domee Shi, director of Pixar’s “Turning Red,” who managed to make a funny and sweet animated movie about periods. Or Charlotte Wells, whose indie darling “Aftersun” showed a tender and introspective side of “Normal People” star Paul Mescal as a young parent. Or Laura Poitras, whose searing documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” powerfully wove together artist and activist Nan Goldin’s past and present. And on and on and on.

But Tuesday’s nominations also feel like a step backward from the progress that the Academy has made in recent years, albeit slowly, thanks to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny. With a changing membership that’s less white, less male, younger and more international has come a somewhat more diverse range of nominated films and artists in the last few years. It’s in part why three years ago, “Parasite” won Best Picture and Bong Joon-Ho won Best Director, and why the following year, Chloé Zhao became the first (and still only) woman of color to win Best Director. It’s why it has become rarer to see an all-white and/or all-male slate of Best Director nominees.

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