If I had the privilege to interview some of these talented, groundbreaking women on the Oscars red carpet, my first question would not be "Who are you wearing?"
I've written about groundbreaking women directors going back to Dorothy Arzner of 1930s Hollywood, followed by actress/director Ida Lupino in the late 1940s through the 1960s in film and television. I wrote that there were four women, including Ava DuVernay of Selma, who directed films that became Oscar nominees for Best Picture. Well, four did. But...there were more. Including Ava DuVernay, 12 women have directed films that got Oscar nominations for Best Picture. Except for Ava, all those other women directors of those Best Picture nominees also directed a castmember or castmembers to an Oscar nomination. Of those 12 women who directed a Best Picture Oscar nominee -- including Ava -- only 3 received a Best Director nomination for making that Best Picture Oscar nominee. They were Jane Campion for The Piano (1993, Holly Hunter Oscar winner for Best Actress), Sofia Coppola for Lost In Translation (2003, Bill Murray Oscar nominee for Best Actor) and Kathryn Bigelow. She made Hollywood history when she won Best Director for The Hurt Locker. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture of 2009 and Jeremy Renner was a nominee for Best Actor.
The following year should've made some entertainment news reporters curious about the way the Academy works -- curious about the diversity of folks on the Academy branches. Like the branch of directors.
The following year, Debra Granik's Winter's Bone and Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right were nominees for Best Picture, both produced a nominee for Best Actress, but neither was nominated for Best Director.
Kathryn Bigelow made Hollywood history again. She is now the only woman who has directed two films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. Some top critics wrote that her film, Zero Dark Thirty, was even better than The Hurt Locker. It was nominated for Best Picture of 2012. Jessica Chastain was nominated for Best Actress.
But...like Randa Haines, director of 1986's Children of a Lesser God...
If, as I've read, an Oscar nomination gets you invited into Academy membership...are Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow the only women in the branch of directors? Are they in the Academy's branch of directors? I think those findings would be entertainment news worth reporting.
Personally, I think the Academy should change and update a rule. I've mentioned this before in a post. I feel that, if a film is nominated for Best Picture, it also gets a nomination for Best Director. Because the movie did not direct itself. I think some women would second that emotion.