This year's award season has been all about the women, or the lack thereof. They've been ruling the red carpets, with the all black dress code to support the Time's Up movement at the Golden Globes, and breaking records in various categories. Here's our female filmmaker's awards season guide, leading up to the Oscars, the biggest award show topping off the season.
Early January the Golden Globes kicked off the yearly round of awards and accolades. They did so in the midst of the #MeToo movement, so no one was surprised when the #TimesUp movement followed and found its way to the public during that awards show. Created by women in the entertainment (mostly film) industry, their mission is to bring change for women everywhere: "The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It's time to do something about it."
Their first action was to ask everyone to come dressed in black in solidarity to the movement. Almost everyone did (there was that red dress though), and a lot of men also sported a Time's Up pin on their blazers. However, the men all failed to mention the movement, both on the red carpet and in their winner speeches. But #WhyWeWearBlack became trending on social media anyway, and so were some of the comments and speeches.
Debra Messing called out E! while being interviewed by a reporter from the channel, for not giving Catt Sadler equal pay (the host left her job in December because of it). And because the women led Big Little Lies swept the Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television categories, we got to hear some amazing speeches by powerhouses like Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern, the latter phrasing: "May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star."
And then of course, there was Oprah's speech. She received the Cecil B. de Mille Award and brought the crowd to their feet (and caused lots of tears) with her moving and powerful words: "For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!"
Another highlight that evening came from Natalie Portman's, while presenting the 'Director - Motion Picture' category. We can't not mention her savage (but somehow chic comment. Some sour faces appeared when she called out the fact that there were only men nominated, but the other women in the room were clearly loving it.
The SAG awards followed and made some great efforts in putting women on the forefront during their ceremony. Kristen Bell got the honor to be the first ever host of the show. Yes, first ever host, not just female host. In the past the Screen Actors Guild preferred to put the focus on the actors being honored, but they recognized this would be a good moment to introduce the first host. Smart choice, if you ask us. And to give the women an even more prominent role, they also decided to only have female presenters that night.
At the Directors Guild Awards The Handmaid's Tale's Reed Morano wrote history by becoming the first woman to win both the Emmy and DGA for Directing a Drama Series. Lena Waithe had set a record at the Emmy's as well, when she became the first African-American woman taking home the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
Which leads us to the Oscars. The chatter already started before the nominees were announced on January 23rd. Would they snub female directors like the Golden Globes had? And how much progress has there really been made? Mudbound's cinematographer Rachel Morrison (who's also the DP for the upcoming superhero film Black Panther) broke a big barrier, and will go down in history as the first woman to ever be recognized in the Best Cinematography category.
Unfortunately Mudbound's director Dee Rees didn't make it into the Best Director race, where Greta Gerwig became only the fifth ever woman to be nominated for her beautiful coming of age drama Lady Bird. She's also in the running for Best Original Screenplay. Also worth mentioning is French documentary filmmaker Agnes Varda, becoming the oldest nominee at 89 for her documentary Faces, Places.
Some other facts for the 90th Academy Awards: Two more women are in the race for Best Original Screenplay: Vanessa Taylor (co-writer of Shape of Water) and Emily V. Gordon (co-writer The Big Sick), and Dee Rees (Mudbound) is up for Best Adapted Screenplay. Casey Affleck dropped out as a presenter (last year he won Best Actor and received it from presenter Brie Larson, who made a point not to clap for him) and Meryl Streep broke her own record, holding on tight to the Most Nominations records, with now 21 mentions.