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Golden Globe Nominations Ignore Female Directors Yet Again

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Dec 10, 2019

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A still from "Little Women" (2019), whose director, Greta Gerwig, has garnered critical acclaim for her adaptation of the novel -- but not a Golden Globe nod. (Image Credit: Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures)

This year’s Golden Globe nominations read like this: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood).

This list is a mix. Parasite was an extraordinary movie, and so was The Irishman. But as a part of an audience — that is, a group of people who consume these movies and have opinions on them — does the Golden Globe jury, known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) sincerely expect us to believe this sausage fest was so necessary that we had to recognize The Joker and yet another Tarantino film, rather than one — just one — woman?

2019 has been a great year for female directors. Lorene Scafaria made Hustlers, a powerful film starring ambitious strippers-cum-conwomen; Greta Gerwig’s timeless Little Women adaptation; Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is one of the very few movies that make you want to be a better person. There’s also Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, a witty and emotionally intricate look at family, Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, depicting a relationship between a young boy and his abusive, alcoholic father, and Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, a moving depiction of a toxic relationship. All of these films are not merely made by women, they’re critically acclaimed pieces of work that have catapulted their directors into stardom and have done the rounds at massive film festivals like Sundance and Toronto International Film Festival, among others.


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And yet, none of these women made it onto the list. In fact, the Golden Globes have managed to nominate five female directors a grand total of seven times in their 75-year history: Barbra Streisand (twice), Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay, and Kathryn Bigelow (twice). Of all these nominations, precisely one — Barbra Streisand — won the actual award for her film Yentl, about a young Jewish girl who defies tradition.

It’s not as if the HFPA is unaware of the clownery they have pulled. In 2018’s Golden Globe award ceremony, Natalie Portman could not have made it more obvious when she said while presenting, “Here are all the male nominees.” Yet, here’s another set of male nominees, again.

However, on the bright side, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who produced both Joker and The Irishman, is now the first woman to secure a Golden Globe production nomination for two motion pictures this year — and might even secure the same for the Oscars, which would be another first.

“I’m pretty blown away by that,” Koskoff told Deadline. “I’m thrilled, humbled, and proud.” However, Koskoff remained disappointed regarding the lack of women directors nominated this year and hopes more “love is shown” to them in other award nominations and wins.

The audience hopes so, too.

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Written By Aditi Murti

Aditi Murti is the senior culture writer at The Swaddle, with an interest in cultural analysis, environment, and the science of mental health.  Write to her using aditi@theswaddle.com, or find her on social media @aditimurti.

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