We can’t believe we’re having this conversation again.
Only this morning, I wrote for this very website about how I’m excited for the Golden Globes this year.
And I am: Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg are going to host, and there’s always the potential that someone is going to quaff a good portion of the 7,500 glasses of Moet and Chandon champagne that are poured throughout the evening and give a truly boozed acceptance speech. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
Now the nominations have been released and there’s even more to be excited for. I’m excited that Constance Wu and Crazy Rich Asians were nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy and Best Comedy. (If only Michelle Yeoh had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress). I’m excited for the three women of The Favourite – Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz – who were all nominated for awards. I’m excited for Caitriona Balfe’s fourth straight nomination for her continually superb performance as Claire in the television series Outlander. I’m doubly excited for Sandra Oh, nominated for Best Actress in a Drama for Killing Eve.
Yes, there is a lot of excitement. But there are some glaring omissions in the nominations this year, particularly in the film section. No woman was nominated for Best Director, and across both Best Picture categories there wasn’t a single film directed by a woman nominated for the top prize.
This year, Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Spike Lee (Blackkklansman) and Adam McKay (Vice) were nominated in the Best Director category. All of these films, as well as Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk, Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns were nominated for Best Picture across the comedy/musical and drama categories.
That’s 15 slots for nominations for the best movies of the year. 15 chances to recognise the work of a female filmmaker doing great work in 2018. 15 spaces to celebrate the work done by women in Hollywood this year. And all 15 of them went to men.
It’s not as if there haven’t been fantastic female-directed movies this year. There was You Were Never Really Here from the director of We Need To Talk About Kevin Lynne Ramsay. There was Can You Ever Forgive Me directed by Marielle Heller, good enough to earn two acting nominations for stars Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant but not to get a Best Picture (or Best Director) nod. There was Blockers, directed by Kay Cannon. (Couldn’t that have snuck into the Best Comedy section?) There’s Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke and starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. What about Karyn Kusama, director of the Nicole Kidman-starring thriller Destroyer?
Things are slightly better over in the television section of the Golden Globes. Killing Eve, created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was nominated for Best Television Series (Drama) and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, led by Amy Sherman-Palladino, was nominated for Best Television Series (Comedy). (No director awards for television are given out at the Golden Globes.) Other fantastic female-led series, including The Good Place and Homecoming were recognised, too.
But still: two out of ten isn’t the most impressive of statistics.
Only one woman has ever won the Best Director prize at the Golden Globes, and that was Barbara Streisand back in 1984. Alongside Streisand, only four women have ever been nominated in the category: Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow and Ava DuVernay. Four women and a total of six nominations. (Both Bigelow and Streisand were nominated twice). Six nominations for female directors over the course of the last 76 years.
It feels like we have this conversation about the recognition of female directors in awards season every year, and it’s beginning to grate.
Only last year, Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Director at the 2018 Golden Globes and lambasted the “all-male nominees”. And yet here we are again, barely a year later, in the exactly same position. It’s really not good enough.
Here’s hoping this is the last time we have to have it.
2019 Golden Globe Nominations
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
A STAR IS BORN
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
GLENN CLOSE, THE WIFE
LADY GAGA, A STAR IS BORN
NICOLE KIDMAN, DESTROYER
MELISSA MCCARTHY, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
ROSAMUND PIKE, A PRIVATE WAR
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
BRADLEY COOPER, A STAR IS BORN
WILLEM DAFOE, AT ETERNITY’S GATE
LUCAS HEDGES, BOY ERASED
RAMI MALEK, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, BLACKKKLANSMAN
BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
EMILY BLUNT, MARY POPPINS RETURNS
OLIVIA COLMAN, THE FAVOURITE
ELSIE FISHER, EIGHTH GRADE
CHARLIZE THERON, TULLY
CONSTANCE WU, CRAZY RICH ASIANS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
CHRISTIAN BALE, VICE
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, MARY POPPINS RETURNS
VIGGO MORTENSEN, GREEN BOOK
ROBERT REDFORD, THE OLD MAN & THE GUN
JOHN C. REILLY, STAN & OLLIE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
AMY ADAMS, VICE
CLAIRE FOY, FIRST MAN
REGINA KING, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
EMMA STONE, THE FAVOURITE
RACHEL WEISZ, THE FAVOURITE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
MAHERSHALA ALI, GREEN BOOK
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET, BEAUTIFUL BOY
ADAM DRIVER, BLACKKKLANSMAN
RICHARD E. GRANT, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
SAM ROCKWELL, VICE
Images: Getty, 20th Century Fox