There is always a time to give a big up-yours to sexism, and Natalie Portman has shown that it can be subtle but still powerful, and oh so classy. Talk about making it fashion.
At first glance, Portman was looking regal as anything as the worked her way down the red carpet in a black and gold embroidered ensemble. It would seem that nothing was out of the ordinary.
But embroidered in gold on the cape are the names of the eight female directors overlooked for nomination in the night’s Best Director category.
When asked why she did it, she said she “wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year in my subtle way.”
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) February 10, 2020
The female directors featured on the cape were Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
This isn’t Portman’s first time taking a swipe at sexism during Hollywood awards shows. While presenting the Best Director award at the 2018 Golden Globes, the actor quipped “and now, here are the all-male nominees” before announcing the nominees.
— lia (@aurraborealis) February 10, 2020
At this year’s Oscars, a grand total of zero females were nominated for Best Director. At least the Academy is sticking with its reputation for snubbing female talent.
In fact, after 92 years of handing out Oscars, only five women have been nominated for Best Director and only one has won – Kathryn Bigelow took out Best Director in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.
You would think that over a decade, there must have been another worthy female director, right?
Apparently not. And it seems most of us are over it.
When Oscar nominations were announced in January, presenter Issa Rae fired a cheeky “congratulations to those men,” after reading the nominations.
Issa Rae, after announcing the Best Director category: “Congratulations to those men.” pic.twitter.com/Sf8KHGRMGJ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 13, 2020
This year’s Best Directors include Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood), and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite).
The omission of women caused serious outrage on social media, especially for Greta Gerwig’s snub for Little Women. I mean, the film was nominated for Best Picture (and five other awards) but Gerwig couldn’t get Best Director?
Little Women (2019) is a tremendous, towering achievement of adaptation, pacing, and reconsideration of the familiar. Breathtaking and deft progressive feminist filmmaking. It should be nominated for more #Oscars, but especially Greta Gerwig’s Directing.
That’s the tweet.
— 𝗠𝗼𝗶𝘀é𝘀 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝘂𝗹𝗹á𝗻 (@moiseschiu) February 10, 2020
Little Women deserved so much more. Greta Gerwig deserved to be nominated for Best Director. Greta Gerwig deserved to WIN Best Adapted Screenplay. It feels like the #Oscars said, “Women like clothes, just give them Best Costumes.” pic.twitter.com/3rtPywA3P5
— Jamie Jirak (@JamieCinematics) February 10, 2020
It’s bamboozling that no females are recognised despite the critical acclaim, box office success, and audience responses to their films.
However, some suggest this is because Academy is drawn to movies with familiar narratives and tropes. In other words: those centered on “white male rage” (as Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update joked).
Basically, the only reason female directors don’t get nominated is: men don’t want to watch movies that aren’t about them.
But just because we say these women were robbed doesn’t take away from the excellent work of the directors that were nominated. Kudos to you, fellas, they really are Oscar-worthy films.
Even so, it’s high-time that female directors started getting the respect and the recognition that they deserve. And we know they deserve it; not because they’re women and we want ‘equality’, but because they are bloody good directors at the helm of some bloody good films.
Image Sources: Twitter (Buzzfeed News