Despite the historic Best Director wins by Chloe Zhao and Jane Campion over the past couple of years at the Oscars, this year’s nominees proved that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure women filmmakers are recognized in the same way as their male counterparts. And for someone like Patty Jenkins, a filmmaker who has been in the business for decades, it’s disheartening to see one step forward and two steps back when it comes to the Academy recognizing women directors at the Oscars.
READ MORE: Roger Deakins Thinks ‘The Batman’ Should Have Received The Cinematography Oscar & Blames The Academy’s “Snobbery”
Speaking to Variety, Patty Jenkins commented on the fact that no female directors were nominated for Best Director for this year’s Oscars. When the nominees for first announced weeks ago, that was a big issue with many film fans, as they believed that folks like Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”), Chinonye Chukwu (“Till”), and Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”) were all worthy candidates. Instead, the crop of directors consisted of all men, with Daniels eventually taking home the trophy for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“I give up, I give up,” said Jenkins. “I say that even with all of their push to have diversity. The numbers are just hugely imbalanced of who votes for these things. I sort of just stopped paying attention to it. It’s still going to take a long ways to go. It’s going to take a lot more to really see truly more diverse awards. I really appreciate the efforts that they’re making but we have a long way to go.”
READ MORE: Best and Worst Of An ‘Everything’ Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga, Ke Huy Quan
Again, it’s worth noting that there has been a bit of movement in trying to have more female representation in the Best Director category. The last two years saw women both win the Oscar. However, prior to that, there were only two female directors nominated between 2009 and 2020. So, it’s hard to say that there has been a ton of improvement when the inclusion of more female directors can still be seen as more of an anomaly and not a trend.
As mentioned, there wasn’t a lack of qualified women directors for this year’s race either, as there were at least three that could have all been included without folks batting an eye. But, clearly, there is work that still needs to be done and folks like Patty Jenkins are just about ready to give up.
You can see the Best Director acceptance speech by Daniels below: