The All-Male Best Director List at the Golden Globes is Not Cool

With the awards season almost upon us, Hollywood is ramping up its excitement. Well, as much as it can in light of recent news. And perhaps rather predictably, the nominees list for the 75th Golden Globes Awards presents a rather bleak indication of progression in the industry.

Not for the first time, the voters have failed to nominate a woman in the Best Director category – an award only won once by a woman (Barbara Streisand in 1983 for Yentl). In fact, a woman has been nominated in this category only 7 times in 75 years.

Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and Kathryn Bigelow (twice), have gone home empty-handed. And it’s not for a lack of trying. Many critics have pointed out the egregious omissions of Coppola and Bigelow from this year’s shortlist, the former having won the Director’s Prize in Cannes with her film The Beguiled, and the latter for her critically acclaimed Detroit.

Other noteworthy absences include Greta Gerwig for most-liked-film-ever on Rotten Tomatoes, Lady Bird. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, which destroyed the box office, and Dee Rees’ Mudbound, a period drama which explores racism and PTSD from the perspectives of two WW2 veterans – one white, one black.

Though it’s not just women that have lost out at the Globes. Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which broached the topic of institutional racism with a verve that has been described as, “[a] bombshell social critique” is one that has left critics scratching their heads too.

So it’s five white men that are up for the best film award:

– Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

– Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

– Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

– Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

– Steven Spielberg, The Post

Good films, and well directed too, but a reflection of the hidden prejudices within the votership. It’s all a lot of much-the-sameness, except for Del Torro’s The Shape of Water and Donagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which see the directors depart from their standard genres.

Though it’s easy to dismiss this as simply awards nonsense, it’s clear to see that this is indicative of a larger problem here. In the wake of the #metoo campaign, and the revelations concerning Harvey Weinstein, you wouldn’t be out of line to expect a push from Hollywood to more progressive inclusions in the shortlist.

Afterall, it’s not just individuals like Weinstein that are the problem here. A vow of silence was either forced or voluntary taken across the industry, and it’s the industry, then, that needs to show that the abuse and exclusion of women and people of colour will no longer be the status quo.

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