The Oscar nominations were revealed yesterday (13 January) and, in frustratingly unsurprising news, there were no female nominees listed in the Best Director category. This is despite the fact that we can think of many female film makers in Hollywood who are worthy of the gong. Just a handful of obvious examples include Queen & Slim’s Melina Matsoukas, Booksmart’s Olivia Wilde, Hustlers’ Lorene Scafaria, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang’s and Little Women’s Greta Gerwig.
Ah, yes this is 2020. And yet Hollywood’s sexism is still so blatantly prevalent.
But Little Women has rightly earned five nominations in other categories: Best Picture, Lead Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Adapted Screenplay (Gerwig), Original Score and Costume Design.
As you can imagine, both Ronan and Pugh are delighted with the news. An Oscar nomination is arguably the most covetable accolade for most actors in the industry. Pugh – who is up for the award alongside Kathy Bates, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johannson and Margot Robbie – even shared a candid photograph of the moment she found out she was nominated while on the phone in bed.
But Pugh has also used her nomination as an opportunity to support Gerwig and call out the fact that she was “snubbed” in the Best Director category.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor gave a superb and wholly relevant explanation, saying: “She’s literally made a film about this. She made a film about women working and their relationship with money and their relationship with working in a man’s world. That’s literally what Little Women is about, so [this] only underlines how important it is — because it’s happening.”
Watch the trailer for Little Women
Ronan also spoke out, telling Deadline: “To me, Greta, since she started, has made two perfect films, and I hope when she makes her next perfect movie, she gets recognised for everything, because I think she’s one of the most important filmmakers of our time.”
Of course it’s great to see female actors supporting their female directors in Hollywood. But the fact that they have to speak out about it in the first place proves the problem. And it’s clear that women still can’t enjoy fully their nominations because they are marred by the sexism against their peers in the industry. It feels like there’s an expectation for them to not get too excited about their achievements.
That’s why it was so refreshing when Pugh gave another razor sharp answer about the snub. When asked by Vogue US if she’d talked about it with Gerwig, she replied: “No, we were too busy celebrating.”