5 History-Making Women to Root For at the 2018 Oscars
Each year, women in Hollywood make history, breaking the celluloid ceiling one crack at a time. The 90th Academy Awards are no different: One woman is poised to become the first to win an Oscar for cinematography, another to be the second to win for directing. Here are all the trailblazers to look out for on Sunday night:
1. Rachel Morrison, Cinematography
In January, Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for a cinematography Oscar for her work on Mudbound. And if that’s not enough to convince audiences of her bona fides: She’s also the first woman to shoot a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; she was the cinematography for Black Panther (which will be up for an Academy Award next season).
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Why has no woman ever been nominated in this category? At least part of the answer lies in the fact that there are so few women in the profession. According to San Diego State University’s (SDSU) 2017 report from its Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, just 4% of cinematographers of the top 250 films of 2017 were women.
2. Greta Gerwig, Directing and Original Screenplay
Gerwig is the only woman nominated for directing and the only solo woman nominated for screenwriting this year (Emily V. Gordon was nominated for the latter alongside her husband, Kumail Nanjiani, for The Big Sick). If she wins the directing award, she’ll be only the second woman in the Academy Awards’ 90-year history to do so. The first and only woman to win an Oscar in that category is Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. As some viewers have pointed out, Bigelow’s film was a war movie lead by an all-male cast. According to the SDSU report, 11% of directors of the top 250 films last year were female.
3. Mary J. Blige, Supporting Actress and Music (Original Song)
Blige is the first person in Oscars history to be nominated for both acting and music in the same year—and for the same film. The singer both starred in Mudbound and wrote the film’s nominated song, “Mighty River.” If she wins, she will be the eighth woman of color to win in the Best Supporting Actress category in the award’s 90-year history.
4. Ildikó Enyedi, Foreign Language Film
Like Gerwig, Hungarian film-maker Enyedi is the only female director nominated in her category. If her film, On Body and Soul, wins an Academy Award, she will be only the fourth woman to receive the honor. Previous winners of this award are the Netherland’s Marleen Gorris, Germany’s Caroline Link, and Denmark’s Susanne Bier.
5. Tatiana S. Riegel, Film Editing
Riegel, the master editor behind I, Tonya, is the only woman nominated in this category this year. That’s pretty much in line with the number of women in top editing roles in the industry overall, according to SDSU: 16% of film editors of the top 250 films were women. While the gender gap in editing is markedly smaller than in directing, the bad news is it’s moving in the wrong direction; in 1998 and 2006, about 20% of top film editors were female.