Earlier this year, Lady Bird filmmaker Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman in history ever to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar. Ever!
“That’s one hand!” she told USA Today, summing up the sadly small club she’d just entered.
Although the argument for better female representation behind the camera has been raging for years, the glaring rareness of Gerwig’s achievement became a flashpoint. Of all the great movies ever made by women, how could only a single handful ever have been deemed worthy of nomination? (And with only one winner!) Headlines seized on the unfortunate notoriety of Gerwig’s nomination, and many urged Hollywood to do better. Fortunately, because everybody is woke now and recognizing a problem is almost exactly the same thing as fixing it, the nominations for the 2019 awards season will surely be wall-to-wall estrogen. Right?
Not according to the Golden Globes.
The nominations for the award show (aka the Drunk Oscars) emerged on Thursday morning with some of the usual snubs (no Atlanta?) and surprises (we see you, Eighth Grade’s Elsie Fisher). However, the most notable discrepancy was probably the familiar absence of female directors. Did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whatever the hell that is, somehow not see Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer? They must have seen it, though, because they nominated Nicole Kidman for her stunning performance in it. Did they think Kidman arrived at that performance on her own? (Look for Fast Company‘s interview with Kusama about the film later this month.)
The Golden Globes are not the Oscars. Hell, they gave two nominations to Netflix’s The Kominsky Method, a Netflix series I’m not entirely sure actually exists. However, the Golden Globes traditionally serve as sort of a licked-finger-in-the-wind for the Oscars race. One would hope the Oscar voters pick up some of the slack dropped by the HFPA.
So without further ado, for absolutely no reason, here are 29 outstanding movies from 2018 that women directed, including not one but two films about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- Karyn Kusama – Destroyer
- Ava Duvernay – A Wrinkle in Time
- Susan Johnson – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
- Nicole Holofcener – The Land of Steady Habits
- Kay Cannon – Blockers
- Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here
- Betsy West and Julie Cohen – RBG
- Coralie Fargeat – Revenge
- Haifaa al-Mansour – Mary Shelley
- Lorna Tucker – Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist
- Lauren Greenfield – Generation Wealth
- Tamara Jenkins – Private Life
- Susanna Fogel – The Spy Who Dumped Me
- Desiree Akhavan – The Miseducation of Cameron Post
- Crystal Moselle – Skate Kitchen
- Reed Morano – I Think We’re Alone Now
- Lisa Dapolito – Love, Gilda
- Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Free Solo
- Sara Colangelo – Kindergarten Teacher
- Marielle Heller – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Alexandria Bombach – On Her Shoulders
- Hannah Fidell – The Long Dumb Road
- Claire Scanlon – Set It Up
- Anne Fletcher – Dumplin’
- Bridey Elliott – Clara’s Ghost
- Josie Rourke – Mary, Queen of Scots
- Susanne Bier – Bird Box
- Nadine Labaki – Capernaum
- Mimi Leder – On The Basis of Sex