Female directors shut out of Oscar nominations

It was an anticipated takeaway from this year’s Oscar nominations announcement, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate: Despite a number of worthy contenders to choose from, female filmmakers were shut out of the directing category.

From Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” (an Amazon release that received a Cannes screenplay prize) to Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace” (a Sundance entry notably recognized by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. last month), great work from deserving women was certainly on the table. Ramsay, in fact, was — along with “BlacKkKlansman” helmer Spike Lee — the most laureled filmmaker on the critics’ awards circuit after Alfonso Cuarón.

Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” a Telluride Film Festival favorite) and Chloe Zhao (“The Rider,” named the year’s best film by the National Society of Film Critics) were other acclaimed players that arguably deserved to make the lineup. Tamara Jenkins (“Private Life”), Karyn Kusama (“Destroyer”), Mimi Leder (“On the Basis of Sex”) and Josie Rourke (“Mary Queen of Scots”) were options as well.

Nominees were ultimately Cuarón for “Roma,” Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite,” Adam McKay for “Vice” and Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War.”

Related: Prettiest dresses from the 2019 Golden Globes:

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Prettiest dresses from the 2019 Golden Globes
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Prettiest dresses from the 2019 Golden Globes

Regina King wore a pink sequined Alberta Ferretti gown for what may be her best red carpet moment ever.

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Saoirse Ronan's chainmail Gucci dress struck the right balance of sexy and elegant. 

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Lupita Nyong'o's beaded cobalt Calvin Klein by Appointment dress was one of our favorite looks of the night.

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Kristen Bell looked sophisticated in a Zuhair Murad gown fit for a princess.

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Lili Reinhart wowed in Khyeli Couture for her first Golden Globes appearance and Swarovski earrings.

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Laura Harrier looked absolutely gorgeous in a black and white sequined Louis Vuitton creation.

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Kaley Cuoco's navy and white Monique Lhuillier dress featured a statement bow and pockets.

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Host Sandra Oh kicked off the show in a fiery Versace number paired with glamorous waves.

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Lucy Boynton of "Bohemian Rhapsody" looked picture picture in a gilded Celine gown.

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Nicole Kidman's long-sleeved wine colored Michael Kors Collection dress was simple yet memorable. 

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Gemma Chan stood out on the red carpet in a blue Valentino Couture dress with matching shorts. 

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Dakota Fanning looked regal in a silver Armani Privé gown and plenty of diamonds. 

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So what happened? Clearly the critics did what they could, particularly with Ramsay, Granik and Zhao. In the cases of Bleecker Street’s “Leave No Trace” and Sony Classics’ “The Rider,” tight awards budgets are certainly part of the equation. But it’s a particularly sour note to hit a year after Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated by the Academy’s directors branch, and amid an ongoing discussion of gender parity in the industry.

This year’s best picture nominees were “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice.”

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