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Female-Lead Best Picture Winners

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  • EGOT
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    The major front runners for Best Picture this year are “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards” and it made me think, when was the last best picture winner who’s only lead(s) were female?

    We’ve had plenty of male-lead best picture movies and male & female-lead best pictures winners, but what about solely female-lead winner?

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    ENGLAND
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    Million Dollar Baby

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    Andrew D
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    Chicago
    Shakespeare in Love
    English Patient ?
    Silence of the Lambs – I feel like Jodie is the lead
    Driving Miss Daisy
    Out of Africa
    Terms of Endearment

    Andrewsart.etsy.com

    Check out my online store 🙂

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    Mrs. Miniver

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    Michael Norris
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    My Fair Lady
    The Sound of Music
    Gone with the Wind

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    Spark87
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    In order from the most recent:
    – Million Dollar Baby (2004) yes, in 14 years there have not been a single Oscar winner with a woman leading the cast.
    – Chicago (2002)
    – Titanic (1997)
    – Shakespeare in Love (1998)
    – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    – Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    – Out of Africa (1985)
    – Terms of Endearment (1983)
    – The Sound of Music (1965)
    – My Fair Lady (1964)
    – Gigi (1958)
    – All About Eve (1950)
    – Mrs. Miniver (1948)
    – Rebecca (1940)
    – Gone With the Wind (1939)
    – Cavalcade (1933)

    I haven’t count “Annie Hall” since Woody Allen has the starring role, has way more screentime than Dianne Keaton and the film is narrated by his point of view.

    In total:

    Best Picture winners with a woman starring, leading and at the center of the story: 16

    Best Picture winners with a man starring, leading and at the center of the story: 73

    Even if all the next picture winners are female-lead, we’ll have to wait 58 years to talking about real equality!!! (you know, women are the 50% of the world population, but only have the 0,16% of representation about leading the stories of Best Picture of the year).

    ETA: Now that I’ve rewatched another female-leading film: “Fargo”, due to McDormand’s prominence this year. I can’t help myself but wondering… HOW DID FARGO LOST OVER THE ENGLISH PATIENT??!!!

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  Spark87.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  Spark87.
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    lovelylovely
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    •Gone with the Wind
    •Rebecca
    •All About Eve
    •My Fair Lady
    •The Sound of Music

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    TheRedBoy
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    In order from the most recent:
    – Million Dollar Baby (2004) yes, in 14 years there have not been a single Oscar winner with a woman leading the cast.
    – Chicago (2002)
    – Titanic (1997)
    – Shakespeare in Love (1998)
    – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    – Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    – Out of Africa (1985)
    – Terms of Endearment (1983)
    – The Sound of Music (1965)
    – My Fair Lady (1964)
    – Gigi (1958)
    – All About Eve (1950)
    – Mrs. Miniver (1948)
    – Rebecca (1940)
    – Gone With the Wind (1939)
    – Cavalcade (1933)

    I haven’t count “Annie Hall” since Woody Allen has the starring role, has way more screentime than Dianne Keaton and the film is narrated by his point of view.

    I would keep Annie Hall on the list. It’s male and female co-leads, just like several other films included. I’d throw American Beauty and The English Patient in as well.

    Considering Gene (Chicago) had Lead Actor nominations from SAG and GG, and Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) earned Lead Actor nominations at SAG and BAFTA, it looks like Terms of Endearment is the last female-led Best Picture winner not to have a male co-lead.

    I suppose one could make the argument that Hopkins being a lead actor in The Silence of the Lambs was category fraud, considering he only had 16 minutes in the film. But he won Lead Actor, so he should probably be considered co-lead.

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    pacinofan
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    The person who started this thread specifically stated he was not looking for films with male-female co-leads so films like “Titanic” and “Annie Hall” should not count.

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    TheRedBoy
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    The person who started this thread specifically stated he was not looking for films with male-female co-leads so films like “Titanic” and “Annie Hall” should not count.

    In that case, it looks like Terms of Endearment and All About Eve are the only two Best Picture winners to have female leads without male co-leads.

    Million Dollar Baby (2004) — Clint Eastwood
    – Chicago (2002) — Richard Gere
    – Titanic (1997) — Leonardo DiCaprio
    – Shakespeare in Love (1998) — Joseph Fiennes
    – The Silence of the Lambs (1991) — Anthony Hopkins
    – Driving Miss Daisy (1989) — Morgan Freeman
    – Out of Africa (1985) — Robert Redford
    – Terms of Endearment (1983)
    – The Sound of Music (1965) — Christopher Plummer
    – My Fair Lady (1964) — Rex Harrison
    – Gigi (1958) — Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan
    – All About Eve (1950)
    – Mrs. Miniver (1948) — Walter Pidgeon
    – Rebecca (1940) — Laurence Olivier
    – Gone With the Wind (1939) — Clark Gable
    – Cavalcade (1933) — Clive Brook

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  TheRedBoy.
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    Michael Norris
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    But I think that says more about category fraud than equality. Jodie Foster, Renee Zellweger, and Vivien Leigh are clearly the leads in their movies. To expect studios not to campaign supporting roles in lead categories is different than asking the Academy to represent female centered movies. Jennifer Lawrence campaigned lead in SLP, but it was still a male centered movie.

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    SHT L
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    But I think that says more about category fraud than equality. Jodie Foster, Renee Zellweger, and Vivien Leigh are clearly the leads in their movies. To expect studios not to campaign supporting roles in lead categories is different than asking the Academy to represent female centered movies. Jennifer Lawrence campaigned lead in SLP, but it was still a male centered movie.

    And Lawrence’s character in SLP was totally male-centered as well.

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    Seven
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    The Shape of Water. Crazy that it’s the first BP winner with a Best Actress nom since Million Dollar Baby and first without a male lead since Terms of Endearment. Although you might make a case about Michael Shannon being lead. It’s not like antagonists like Nurse Ratched and Hannibal Lecter haven’t been recognized in lead before (although I consider both to be category frauds)

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  Seven.
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    Makuta Teridax
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    Million Dollar Baby

    I think Clint Eastwood played equally, if not slightly larger of a role than Hillary Swank. They were co-leads in my opinion, each with their emotional character arcs.

    For your Goldderby Film Awards consideration: Isle of Dogs for every category, especially Music Score for Alexandre Desplat!

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    Riley
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    Led!

    "I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."

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