Women directors shut out of Golden Globes for fifth consecutive year

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominations for the 77th Golden Globe Awards early Dec. 9. No women are nominated for Best Director or Best Screenplay, despite buzz surrounding films like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Farewell, Hustlers and Little Women. 

All four films were recognized with acting nods for Tom Hanks, Awkwafina, Jennifer Lopez and Saoirse Ronan. Cynthia Ervio (Harriet), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) and Emma Thompson (Late Night) are also nominated for their work in female-directed features. Cate Blanchett rounds out the acting nominees from women-helmed work for Holly Gent’s screenplay Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

No nominees for Best Motion Picture are directed by women. 1917 is the only nominee of 10 films from a female screenwriter: Krysty Wilson-Cairns, co-written with director Sam Mendes.

The Farewell and Portrait of a Lady on Fire are nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature. Music from 1917, Harriet and Little Women was recognized, along with Best Animated Feature nominee Frozen 2. Screenwriter Stephany Folsom’s Toy Story 4 is also nominated in the category.

The television side of the awards is far more balanced, with multiple nominations for women-helmed and women-centric comedies like Fleabag, Russian Doll and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, along with dramas The Morning Show and Unbelievable.

Best Screenplay frequently recognizes female screenwriters who have co-written awards season favorites with men (Deborah Davis for co-writing The Favourite and Liz Hannah for co-writing The Post). Diana Ossana is the last woman to win in the Best Screenplay category for co-writing Brokeback Mountain in 2005. 

A woman writing solo has not been nominated since GIllian Flynn (Gone Girl) in 2014. Nancy Meyers was nominated five years earlier for It’s Complicated. Coppola won the award in 2004 for Lost in Translation.

The HFPA has a history of leaving women off its Best Director list, only nominating five women in its 77-year history, and none since 2015 (Ava DuVernay, Selma). Kathryn Bigelow was nominated in 2010 and 2013, and Sofia Coppola was recognized for directing Lost in Translation in 2014. 

Jane Campion was the first female nominee in the category in 1984 for The Piano, recently named by the BBC as #1 on the list of 100 best films directed by women.

Barbra Streisand is the only female winner for Best Director for Yentl in 1984. “That was 34 years ago,” Streisand said while presenting an award at the 2018 ceremony. “We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director. There are so many films out there that are so good directed by women.”

© Georgiana E. Presecky (12/9/2019) FF2 Media

Photo: Golden Globe nominee Awkwafina and director Lulu Wang of The Farewell. Courtesy of A24.

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