The Academy still has a long way to go. The 2023 Oscars nominations, which were announced on Jan. 24, revealed that the Academy failed to nominate a single woman for best director — one of the show’s biggest snubs yet. Despite talented female filmmakers such as Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”), Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”), and Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”) in talks to receive their deserved recognition, all five nominations ended up going to male directors.
The official list of nominees for best director include Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”), Todd Field (“Tár”), Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”), and Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).
This disappointing oversight will officially break the two-year streak of women taking home the award in this category, which previously celebrated Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog,” and gave Chloé Zhao her flowers in 2021 for “Nomadland.” It should also be noted that in the entire history of the Academy Awards, these are two out of the three women to have ever won the Oscar for best director, as opposed to 71 men. The Oscars also failed to nominate a single Black woman for best actress, causing some to ask if the Academy is regressing in relation to diversity and inclusion.
There were, however, some positive history-making nominations ahead of the 2023 award show. Michelle Yeoh became the first-ever Asian-identifying best actress nominee for her role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Hong Chau also received nominations, making this the most Asian actors ever nominated by the Academy in a single year. Still, it shouldn’t be this arduous to work toward an award ceremony in which the nominees are genuinely reflective of the talent. Hopefully, moving forward, the Academy, including the 573 members of the Directors Branch, will hear this criticism, and use it to acknowledge a wider variety of voices and perspectives.