While presenting the Golden Globe for best director two ceremonies ago, Natalie Portman called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association out for selecting “all male nominees.” It was a bold move on her part but undeniably effective, as the message arrived loud and clear: For however talented these men were, there were numerous female filmmakers out there who deserved to be recognised, too.
In a year that will be remembered for several films directed by women – Hustlers, Little Women and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, to name a few – the Golden Globes have shown no signs of improvement in this area. Not only were women shut out of the 2020 ceremony’s best director race, but they were also snubbed for best screenplay and in both motion picture categories – despite ranking as several critics’ favourites of the year.
Little Women writer-director Greta Gerwig’s omission from the list – which consists of Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood), Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917) and Todd Phillips (Joker) – is perhaps the most surprising. While Gerwig wasn’t nominated for directing her last film, 2017’s Lady Bird, she went home with the trophy for best motion picture, musical or comedy. That same award season, she became the fifth woman in Oscars history to ever land a best director nomination. (Only The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow has actually won.)
Gerwig’s film did earn a nomination for lead actress Saoirse Ronan, as did Lulu Wang’s The Farewell for star Awkwafina, Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart for co-lead Beanie Feldstein and Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers for supporting actress Jennifer Lopez. Marielle Heller, whose film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood earned Tom Hanks a nod, was also overlooked last year despite her Can You Ever Forgive Me? actors Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant earning both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.