Like The Dark Knight Monty Python and the Holy Grail who insists he only suffered a flesh wound after having his arm cut off, the Golden Globes returned on Tuesday, December 13 to announce the nominations for the 80th Golden Globes. It came after years of controversy and criticism of the awards show that inspired an overhaul of the voting body for the ceremony, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). There weren’t a ton of surprises in the nominations and that included an incredibly disheartening continuation of a tradition in Golden Globe nominations. No women were nominated for Best Director at the 80th Golden Globes and none of the 10 films vying for Best Picture in both categories (Best Drama and Best Comedy/Musical) were directed by women either. .
The absence of female-directed cinema was incredibly annoying and frustrating, but sadly it’s part of a long and equally disheartening history of how female filmmakers have been recognized (or more accurately, haven’t been). represented at all) at the Golden Globes.
A Brief History of the Golden Globes
The very first Golden Globes ceremony took place in January 1944. It was at a particularly disastrous time for female directors of American cinema. While female directors were fairly common in the silent film era, the shift to “talkies” and then colorized films had moved Hollywood away from handing the work over to female filmmakers. The tastes of Maya Deren, Ida Lupinoand Dorothee Arzner still existed at that time, but for the most part female directors were rare in Hollywood. By proxy, awards shows like the Golden Globes haven’t thought at all about all-male nominees in key categories like Best Director.
It would take until the late 1970s for more prestigious and global Oscars to finally recognize a woman for the first time in its Best Director category with a nomination for Lina Wertmuller to seven beauties at the 49th Academy Awards. The Golden Globes, which mainly recognized only American films during their various ceremonies, will take until the 1980s to innovate and recognize a filmmaker. It would happen at the 41st Golden Globe Awards with Barbara Streisand scoring a nomination for his work at the helm Yentl. Impressively, she would go on to win Best Director at that ceremony, beating heavyweights such as James L. Brooks, Mike Nicholsand Ingmar Bergman.
The rarity of a woman nominated for Best Director
Streisand’s achievement here is truly impressive and remarkable in that it redefined what was possible in terms of which filmmakers could be recognized or at a shockingly influential awards show. If there was a downside to this development, it’s simply that Streisand fit the type of artist the Golden Globes tend to go for. Voters for this event have often been criticized for singling out the celebrities they want to appear at the ceremony rather than the art they are passionate about. Streisand, being a massive musician and major movie star, is definitely the kind of famous face the Golden Globes would have liked to have had.
This is not to diminish his accomplishments or to suggest that any of the voters disliked his achievement in Yentl. This is simply meant to provide context as to why she might have been the only female director recognized at the first 50 Golden Globes ceremonies (she would again be nominated in the category for directing Prince of the tides).
Jeanne Campion would become the first non-Streisand woman to earn a Best Director Golden Globe nomination at the 51st Golden Globes (that nod would be for her cinema in The piano). Unfortunately, she would be the last woman to be recognized in the category for the rest of the century. It would take up to Sophie Coppola‘s nominated for the 61st Golden Globes for her work on lost in translation that another woman would fall into this category. The only other time a woman would grace this category for the entirety of the 2000s would be six years later, when Catherine Bigelow was recognized for helming The Hurt Locker.
The lack of recognized women in this category was emblematic of broader trends in the broader awards season landscape that often ignored female directors entirely. Surprisingly, in 2009, the Golden Globes had nominated more women in its Best Director category (although only one and two of those nominations were for Streisand) than the equivalent category at the Oscars. It didn’t rule out any of the shortcomings of the Golden Globes, but it certainly showed that problems with recognizing the validity of female-led films was an endemic problem in the industry.
A dry spell for female directors
In the 2010s, the Golden Globes would reward a handful of other female directors, including Ava DuVernay make history as the first woman of color recognized in this category for achievement Selma. In the years since that feat, the Golden Globes have missed out on highly acclaimed female filmmakers being recognized at almost every other major American award show, namely by Greta Gerwig work both lady bird and Little woman. After DuVernay’s nomination, it took six years for other female directors to be recognized in this category. To put things in perspective, this meant that in the decade following Bigelow’s Injured locker nomination, the Golden Globes had recognized only one woman in 50 different Best Director slots. This is an absolutely insane fact that reflects how this category has ignored women filmmakers.
The 2020s have so far seen four women nominated in the Best Director category (including Campion scoring his second nod) while the 80th Golden Globe nominees featured no women in the Best Director category or feature films. directed by a woman in both Best Picture categories. It’s a glaring development on many levels, including the number of female director-led features that made waves at other major award shows in 2022. Titles like women who talk, All the beauty and bloodshed, After Sun, The female kingand many more have been part of other major Best of 2022 Cinema awards shows. Unfortunately, they and other titles were absent from the 80th Golden Globe Awards.
The biggest problems with the Golden Globes
The problems with the Golden Globes and its lack of recognition for female filmmakers aren’t just limited to these categories or the nominees for the 80th Golden Globes. The absence of a Best Documentary Feature category (a staple of most other award shows, including the Oscars) since 1977 further limits when and how the Golden Globes can recognize the existence of female directors. The landscape of documentary cinema is covered with female directors, but these artists do not have the chance to be seen or to have their achievements recognized at the Golden Globes.
Of course, all of these issues may seem ridiculous considering the simple fact that the Golden Globes themselves are often a punchline. After all, it was the ceremony that named The tourist for the best picture! However, the lack of recognition of female directors at its various ceremonies is worth mentioning and acknowledging largely because these ceremonies still hold so much influence in Hollywood and the awards season landscape. Additionally, the problems with the Golden Globes and its problems with recognition of art made by women are echoed by other award shows. To acknowledge the shortcomings that the Golden Globes have repeatedly shown in making room for film directed by women is to acknowledge how flawed the American definition of “award-winning cinema” is as well. When we talk about the “best films of the year”, the erasure of cinema directed by women means that we are not talking about the whole cinematic landscape, but only a small part dominated by men.
The 80th Golden Globe Awards and its approach to female filmmakers was a frustrating reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite high-profile reforms to try to diversify the Golden Globes voting bloc, women directors were still largely excluded from nominations (similar issues with long-running erasing features arose from black performers at this ceremony of the Golden Globes). The history of the Golden Globes and its difficulty in recognizing female directors is unfortunately very much in tune with the current state of the ceremony.
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The Golden Globes Have A History Of Not Recognizing Female Filmmakers – CNET – ApparelGeek