There are always some big surprises and heartbreaks on Oscar nomination morning, as much as awards strategists try to smooth them over. But the batch of nominees for the 95th Academy Awards seemed to have more than its fair share of shocks, good and bad.
‘Till’ director Chinonye Chukwu claimed Hollywood had a history of “shameless misogyny towards black women” after she was snubbed.
“We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to defending whiteness and perpetuating shameless misogyny toward black women,” she wrote on Instagram.
“And again. I am eternally grateful for the greatest lesson of my life – no matter the challenges or obstacles, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and it is that joy that will continue to be the one of my biggest forms of resistance.”
Meanwhile, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s ‘The Woman King’ was dropped from Oscar nominations entirely, a shocking turn for a well-reviewed blockbuster that at one point had many predicting a better actress for Viola. Davis as the fierce leader of Agojie, a Best Picture Nod and one for Best Director.
No black woman has ever been nominated for Best Director, a deplorable statistic that sadly hasn’t changed this year.
There was hope that members might recognize some of this year’s extraordinary films that had a woman behind the camera, especially after two consecutive years of women winning the award (Jane Campion and Chloé Zhao). Potential nominees included Prince-Bythewood, Sarah Polley for “Women Talking” and Charlotte Wells for “Aftersun.”
I’m not sure anyone expected Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”) to get one of the five director slots over James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of Water”), Baz Luhrmann (“Elvis ”) or Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”), neither.