No female directors were nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the 77th Golden Globe Awards. Not one. Now that we´ve slightly calmed from our initial rage upon hearing the news, and with the Golden Globes Award Ceremony coming up this weekend, we want to talk about top quality women-directed movies that were snubbed so that they get the recognition they deserve.
In response, the women’s advocacy group Time’s Up said the 2020 list represents an industry-wide crisis where women continue to be pushed to the sidelines. Rebecca Goldman, chief operating officer at Time’s Up Foundation, said in a statement, “This year, there have been twice as many women-led features than ever, with more films by female directors on the way. And yet, as today’s nominations show, women — and especially women of color — continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off. The omission of women isn’t just a Golden Globes problem. It is an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable.”
The only woman to ever win the best director prize at the GGs? Barbra Streisand. Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, and Ava DuVernay are the only other female directors to be nominated in the best director category.
Here´s our list of some of the major female-directed films that were somehow overlooked in this year Globes.
Hustlers directed by Lorene Scafaria
This feminist movie about strippers who drug and rob Wall Street clients has been a commercial success and it was made by women. The street smart women portrayed in the film run cons in a city that seems indifferent to their existence. In a Vanity Fair opinion piece by Richard Lawson entitled: “Why We Shouldn’t Forget Lorene Scafaria,” he argues that the movie academy should not snub Scafaria´s stellar work on this clever film. Oscar forecasters have seeded Lopez´s transfixing performance as a stripper as a shoo-in for a supporting actress nomination and we hope that Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler) gets a nod in at least one other category. The movie has already been nominated for a Spirit Award.
Queen & Slim directed by Melina Matsoukas
Raised in the Bronx by a Cuban mother and a Jewish Greek father, Melina Matsoukas unflinching eye has been behind pop cultural touchstones like Beyoncé’s music video for “Formation” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” This, her debut feature film, is a romance set against a backdrop of police violence that follows a black Ohio couple on the run after they kill a cop in self-defense. Queen & Slim is the black version of Bonnie & Clyde we´ve all been waiting for.
The Farewell directed by Lulu Wang
This semi-autobiographical family drama from writer and director Lulu Wang is her second feature film about her own Westernized culture clash with China. What makes this movie so important is its centering on second-generation immigrants and how weird they feel in their ancestor’s homeland. In an interview with The Guardian Wang said: “ It’s so much easier to tell a fish-out-of-water story when the person is blond and blue-eyed going to an Asian country, for example. But what is it like when you look the same as those people, and you’re expected to fit in? How do you put that interiority on screen?” Wang manages to do just this brilliantly and the movie also stars the critically acclaimed actress, Awkwafina, from Crazy Rich Asians.
Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig
This new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel by the award-winning writer and director Gerwig (Lady Bird) is a timeless tribute to all things feminist. According to The New Yorker´s Anthony Lane praising review about this tale about sisterhood, “What emerges from Gerwig’s movie, though, is a strong sense, such as Alcott would not have dared to admit, that indignation is not just the natural lot of women but their rousing right. This film, which was a Critics’ Choice nominee, includes a star-studded cast of Hollywood female heavy hitters includes Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Emma Watson.
Honey Boy directed by Alma Har’el
This Spirit Award nominee is Alma Har’el’s heartfelt artistic take on the child actor Shia LaBeouf’s tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father. It will appeal to anyone who has gone through the pain of a family member who has weathered substance or alcohol abuse. The Israeli-American music video and film director, best known for her documentary Bombay Beach (which won the top prize at Tribeca Film Festival in 2011), also grew up with an alcoholic father and thus her compassionate directorial eye comes through.
Clemency directed by Chinonye Chukwu
This Nigerian-born, Alaskan-raised screenwriter, producer, and director on the rise was the sole female filmmaker to get a nod in the Best Screenplay category at the Golden Globes this year. Clemency, which explores capital punishment, also won the Jury Prize in the US Dramatic Competition at Sundance. Chukwu’s sophomore feature is a haunting drama with a powerhouse performance by the gifted Alfre Woodard, who plays a prison warden whose years working on death row have taken a psychic toll on her.
Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons
There´s been much buzz about this period piece biopic about the life of Harriet Tubman, the runaway slave turned abolitionist. However, this actress and director doesn´t want you calling this a slave movie, but a freedom story. Considering Hollywood’s infatuation with biopics, it’s surprising that a story about Tubman took so long to be told. Lemmons told the L.A. Times: “We’re just arriving at a point now where you can have a black female protagonist in a period piece. I think that was a hard sell for people; they still hadn’t arrived there yet.”
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood directed by Marielle Heller
Here, Marielle Heller explores the beloved children´s television host Fred Rogers´ life, aka “Mr. Rogers,” played by Hollywood´s most beloved actor Tom Hanks. It´s a simple story about a man´s kindness which is a leap from Heller´s first two films (The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Can You Ever Forgive Me?) which portrayed highly complicated women. She told IndieWire: “I think there’s something really beautiful about a male protagonist [whose] goal at the end of the movie is not to be some big hero who saves the day, but the goal is to be a more emotionally evolved person and a better father and husband.”
Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde
The film and TV actress Olivia Wilde made her big directorial debut with a coming-of-age comedy about two graduating high school girls who set out to finally break the rules and party on their last day of classes. The sassy R-rated script was written by a team of female screenwriters, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay executive produced the film through Gloria Sanchez Productions, a female-focused production company.
This year´s Golden Globes list of nominated directors includes Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), and Todd Phillips (Joker). Dear Hollywood Foreign Press Association: There better be some women on this list next year.
The Golden Globes will be hosted by Ricky Gervais this Sunday, January 5.