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Oscar nominees remain predominantly male

Oscar nominees remain predominantly male

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced early January 22. For the 87th time in Oscar history, no women are nominated for Best Director; only five women have ever been nominated in this category and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010) is the only winner.

No Best Picture nominees are directed by women this year and no actors nominated for leading roles were in films directed by women. Only two female screenwriters are nominated in screenplay categories - Deborah Davis for co-writing The Favourite and Nicole Holofcener for co-writing Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Three nominees for Best Documentary are directed by women: Free Solo, RBG and Hale County This Morning, This Evening.

Capernaum, directed by Nadine Labaki, is the only foreign language feature nominated with a female director. Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sole animated feature nominee written by a woman. Three animated shorts are from female filmmakers, including Disney-Pixar favorite Bao from Domee Shi.

Entirely-male categories include achievement in cinematography, editing and Best Original Score. Mary Queen of Scots, Josie Rourke’s period drama that passes the Bechdel-Wallace test, is nominated for makeup and costume design. Its leads, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, were both Best Actress contenders at last year’s Oscars.

Best Picture nominee The Favourite is the only widely-recognized film written by a woman. Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman are all nominated for their performances, along with Best Director Yorgos Lanthimos and Best Cinematographer Robbie Ryan. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a close second, with Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant both nominated for their performances in Marielle Heller’s film.

McCarthy, Glenn Close (The Wife) and Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate) are the only lead acting nominees in films written by women.

In an especially dry awards season for women in film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) seems to be following the lead of the Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and British Academy of Film and Television Arts - all of which neglected to nominate female filmmakers this year. 

© Georgiana E. Presecky (1/22/19) FF2 Media