Jane Campion made history this month when she became the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director. She earned her first bid for 1993’s “The Piano” and followed it up this year with a nomination for “The Power of the Dog.” However, there will be much more at stake when the Oscars are handed out on March 27.
In addition to her bid for directing, Campion is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for penning a script based on Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name, while the film, on which Campion is a producer, snagged a Best Picture nom as well, meaning Campion could take home awards for directing, writing and producing in the same year. Should that come to pass, she’ll become the first woman in history to do it. Chloé Zhao fell just shy in her attempt last year when she won the Oscar for Best Director for “Nomadland” (2020) before the film took home the evening’s top prize. However, the award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller for “The Father.”
SEE Oscars: Will there be another Best Picture and Best Director split?
While no woman has completed the trifecta as of yet, eight men have done it. Bong Joon Ho is the most recent, having won all three awards for “Parasite” (2019), which became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. Others who pulled off the feat include James L. Brooks (“Terms of Endearment,” 1983), Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men,” 2007), Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather Part II,” 1974), Alejandro Iñárritu (“Birdman,” 2014), Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” 2003) and Billy Wilder (“The Apartment,” 1960).
Currently, Campion is on track to join their prestigious club and become its first female member. “The Power of the Dog” is in first place in Gold Derby’s combined odds for Best Picture. It sits at 6/1 and has 15 Experts predicting it to triumph. Meanwhile, Campion’s odds to take home the award for Best Director sit at 3/1. She’s just ahead of Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), who follows in second with 4/1 odds. Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”) is in third, Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) is in fourth and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”) rounds out the field in fifth. In Best Adapted Screenplay, “The Power of the Dog” is also the current frontrunner, sitting at 16/5 odds and with 15 Experts predicting it to win. It leads Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe’s “Drive My Car,” Sian Heder’s adaptation of “CODA” and Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve’s version of “Dune.”
A win in adapted screenplay would also make Campion the first woman to conquer both writing categories, as she won Best Original Screenplay for “The Piano.” If she wins Best Director, she’ll be just the third woman to ever take home the honor after Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” 2009) and Zhao. So even if Campion doesn’t complete the desired trifecta for “The Power of the Dog,” there are still other ways for her to enter the history books this year. And only a fool would bet against it happening.
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