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 Scarlett 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 women 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. This effectually demolishes the wall between First World and Third World films. The Koreans have done it.
What have we done for World Cinema?