The spirits of the late Dorothy Arzner and the late Ida Lupino must be looking down on Greta Gerwig and Dee Rees and smiling with illuminated joy. Those two women not only cracked the glass ceiling of Old Hollywood's dome of movie directors, they made a hole in it wide enough for future female directors to enter. To enter and to make history. Today, Greta Gerwig got Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (1986), directed by Randa Haines
AWAKENINGS (1990), directed by Penny Marshall
THE PRINCE OF TIDES (1991), directed by Barbra Streisand
WINTER'S BONE (2010), directed by Debra Granik
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010), directed by Lisa Cholodenko
ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012), directed by Kathryn Bigelow
All those above-mentioned films were Oscar contenders for Best Picture but the women were not nominated for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow had previously been nominated for THE HURT LOCKER. It won for Best Picture and she won for Best Director, making Bigelow the first woman to claim that victory. But the second film she directed that became a Best Picture Oscar nominee did not bring her a second Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Actor Mel Gibson directed two films that were Oscar nominees for Best Picture -- 1995's BRAVEHEART and 2016's HACKSAW RIDGE. He got a Best Director nomination for each film.
Greta Gerwig is also an actress who has done solid work in Woody Allen's TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012) and as Frances in the 2012 indie comedy film, FRANCES HA. I loved her dramatic supporting work opposite Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in the tragic bio drama, JACKIE, about Mrs. Kennedy's remaining days in the White House immediately following the assassination of President Kennedy.
Ida Lupino was one of the best actresses on the Warner Brothers lot in the late 1930s and 40s. She showed her impressive acting chops in Warner Bros. films like THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT, HIGH SIERRA, THE HARD WAY, THE MAN I LOVE and DEEP VALLEY.
As an actress and director, she opened the door for future women like Greta Gerwig, Penny Marshall, Barbra Streisand and Jodie Foster to also to show their chops in front of and behind the camera.
Dee Rees may be the first African American woman director to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination. All sorts of history was made with today's nominations. I am so thrilled. Keith Price discuss more Black History and Women In Film History in our new podcast episode of MOCHAA. Check out this link:
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