Though the Academy Awards has a rich history, it hasn’t, until very recently, been particularly inclusive.
But there’s still a long way to go. Since the first woman was nominated in 1977, only five women have been nominated for directing. And only one of them won, when Kathryn Bigelow won for directing “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
Director, writer, and actress Greta Gerwig, who was nominated for “Lady Bird,” is only the fifth woman to be nominated for an Oscar in the best director category at the Academy Awards, which has occurred annually since 1929.
Gerwig’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedy earned her another nomination for best original screenplay. The movie’s star Saoirse Ronan is up for best actress, and Laurie Metcalf for best supporting actress. A few weeks ago, Gerwig won best director in the comedy or musical category at the Golden Globes.
Here are all the women who have been nominated for best director at the Oscars:
Lina Wertmüller, “Seven Beauties” (1977)
In 1977, Wertmüller became the first woman ever to be nominated in the directing category at the 49th Academy Awards. She was also nominated for best original screenplay. Her film, “Seven Beauties,” is an Italian-language movie about an Italian man who deserts the army during World War II, and is captured by Germans and sent to prison camp.
Wertmüller lost the directing category to John G. Avildsen for “Rocky.” Other nominees in the category were Sidney Lumet (“Network”), Ingmar Bergman (“Face to Face”) and Alan J. Pakula (“All the President’s Men”).
Jane Campion, “The Piano” (1994)
In 1994, Campion became the second woman to get nominated for directing a film. “The Piano,” about a mute piano player and her daughter, stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and Anna Paquin, who won best supporting actress at age 11.
At the 66th Academy Awards ceremony, Campion won for best original screenplay, but lost the directing category to Steven Spielberg, who won for “Schindler’s List.”
Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation” (2004)
Coppola’s critically acclaimed comedy starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson was a favourite in the 2004 awards season, earning her a nomination for best director. The movie, about two lonely Americans who become friends after meeting at a Tokyo hotel, was also nominated for best picture. Though it didn’t win in either of those categories, Coppola won the statue for best original screenplay. Coppola lost the directing category to Peter Jackson for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Other nominees in the category included Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”), Peter Weir (“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”), and Clint Eastwood (“Mystic River”).
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” (2010)
Bigelow is the only female director to win an Oscar. She won for “The Hurt Locker,” and fun fact: she beat her husband James Cameron, who was nominated for directing “Avatar.” “The Hurt Locker,” which takes place during the Iraq War, follows an elite bomb disposal unit (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) as they navigate the dangerous streets of Baghdad.
In 2013, Bigelow was not nominated for directing “Zero Dark Thirty,” a film about the team that found Osama bin Laden, though it got several nominations including best picture.
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” (2018)
In the directing category, Gerwig is up against Jordan Peele, the fifth black man nominated in the directing category (none have won), Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson.
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