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Oscar Nominations: Women Excluded



The Oscar nominations announced  on Monday  proved a  blessing in  disguise  for Reliance Entertainment. 1917, the  harrowing majestic  World War 1 drama  walked  away  with  major nominations including  Best Film and Best  Director(Sam Mendes).

I hope Mendes’ magnificent anti-war drama scores over the over-rated Marriage Story  and Once Upon A  Time In Hollywood. Not that Marriage Story is  not worth it. It sure is. But I think the praise exceeded  its merits.While  the  beautiful Scartlett Johansson rightfully claims  a nomination for  Best Actress she is hardly in  the same league as  Cynthia Erivo in Harriet  or Rene Zellwegger in Judy. These are performances  that go beyond  the  precincts  of impressive  portrayal. Johansson is no doubt brilliant, but not  in the  supremely  immersive way  that Erivo  or Zellwegger are.

 In  a first  for  the Academy Awards real-life partners, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have  both been  nominated for Best  Picture. Greta  for the  glorious Little Women and  Noah for Marriage Story.

But  neither gets a nod  in the Best Director category!! So I ask, not  for  the  first time, how can  a director be eligible  among the best films of  the year and  not be among the best directors?

Shockingly there is not a single woman in the Best Director nominations. Not Greta Gerwig  for Little Women? Not  Olivia Wilde  for  Booksmart?  Not Lulu Wang  for The  Farewell? Not Melina  Matsoukas for Queen  & Slim? Errr…not Zoya Akhtar for  Gully Boy???? Come on ! 

Not to say that  the exclusion of  women  is deliberate. But a system which allows the men to flourish above the men is certainly  flawed.

While India  can hang  its head in shame  over its exclusion from all Oscar nominations ,  Korea has  much to be proud of. Director Bong Joon-ho’s  Parasite is  nominated for Best Director and Best Director. This effectually demolishes the wall between  First World and Third World  films. The  Koreans  have done it.

What have done for world cinema?

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