‘Congratulations to those men’: Women shut out of Best Director at the Oscars, as usual

“Congratulations to those men,” said Issa Rae pointedly when she and John Cho presented the Oscar nominees for Best Director on the morning of January 13. As usual, there are no women nominated for their work behind the camera. Check out the complete list of nominations here.

The nominees for Best Director are Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Sam Mendes (“1917”), Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”). That matches the BAFTA and Golden Globe nominees exactly, and it matches the Directors Guild nominees four out of five; the DGA picked Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”) instead of Phillips.

That comes despite an especially strong year for women in the director’s chair. Greta Gerwig‘s “Little Women” is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, and Gerwig herself is a nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay, but “Little Women” is the only Best Picture nominee directed by a woman, and Gerwig missed the cut for Best Director for her acclaimed take on Louisa May Alcott‘s literary classic.

Also absent from Best Director are filmmakers like Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) and Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”), both of whose films earned other nominations, plus Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Celine Sciamma (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”), Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”), Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) and Mati Diop (“Atlantics”), among others whose films were snubbed entirely.

Only five women in Oscar history have ever been nominated for Best Director, and none of them twice: Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties,” 1976), Jane Campion (“The Piano,” 1993), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” 2003), Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” 2009) and Gerwig (“Lady Bird,” 2017). To date, Bigelow is the only woman who has ever won the category. And no one is going to join her this year either.

Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on February 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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