92nd Academy Awards: A Disappointment for Female Led Films

The Academy Awards are a chance to recognize exceptional films and performances of the previous year, unless you’re a woman. Some of the best films of the year didn’t get nominated, despite winning other prestigious awards like a BAFTA or an Independent Spirit Award. 

Lulu Wang’s film “The Farewell” had six Golden Globe nominations, and Awkwafina won Best Actress. However, the Oscars failed to nominate it, despite the longstanding trend of Best Actress Golden Globe winners winning the Oscar for the same category. In the past ten years, nine out of ten went on to win an Academy Award. 

Looking at the nominees for best director, the all-male lineup sheds light on the Academy’s neglect of female directed films. In the 92 years that the Oscars have been on television, only five women have been nominated for best director, and Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have won best director in 2010 for her Iraq War film “The Hurt Locker.” 

This year, multiple female-directed films were shoo-ins like “Little Women” which received six nominations and was a top contender in the field but only ended up winning for best costume design. Director Greta Gerwig was snubbed from a Best Director nomination.

While “Little Women” managed to shove it’s way into the Oscars, other female-led films like “A Good Day In The Neighborhood”, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, and “Booksmart” received no nominations at all. This year, of the total 186 nominees, only 30 percent of non-acting nominations went to women this year, which was an increase from last year of only 25 percent.  

Though women have directed and produced some of the most critically acclaimed films in 2019 and have made incredible efforts behind the camera, these efforts haven’t been showcased or appreciated in this year’s nominees.