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#OscarsSoMale? Women shut out of the directing category

<i>Getty Images/Reuters</i><br/>Directors Charlotte Wells
Getty Images/Reuters
Directors Charlotte Wells

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Remember when Issa Rae was presenting the Oscar nominations for best director in 2020 and quipped “Congratulations to those men”?

It’s déjà vu.

In a year that saw many critically acclaimed films helmed by female directors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is again taking heat for failing to nominate any women in the directing category.

“Women Talking” was nominated in the best picture category, but its director Sarah Polley was shut out.

Other notable names ignored by the Academy: Charlotte Wells for her work on “Aftersun,” Maria Schrader for “She Said,” Gina Prince-Bythewood for “The Woman King” and Domee Shi, director of the animated Pixar film “Turning Red.”

The snubs come after two years of progress, during which Chloé Zhao was awarded best director for “Nomadland” and Jane Campion won for “Power of the Dog.”

Those achievements came with some history making as well.

Zhao’s 2021 win happened in a year where, for the first time, two women were nominated in the best director category. Emerald Fennell was also nominated that year for “Promising Young Woman.”

Campion’s nomination and subsequent win last year marked the first time a woman was nominated twice for a best director trophy. (Her first nomination was for her 1993 film “The Piano.”)

Women fared better in other categories this year.

Catherine Martin’s nomination in the costume design category for her work on “Elvis” makes her the seventh woman with nominations in three or more award categories. The others are Chloé Zhao with four; Barbra Streisand, Sofia Coppola, Fran Walsh, Emerald Fennell and Jane Campion all with three.

With her producer credit on “Elvis,” Martin also becomes the first person to be nominated in both the costume design and best picture categories in the same year.

That film also helped Mandy Walker become the third woman to be ever be nominated in the cinematography category. Previous nominees were Rachel Morrison (2017) and last year’s Ari Wegner (2021).

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