It’s not very often I, or anyone else for that matter, gets to write the sentence — women director gets most nominations from… Last year Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker tied Avatar for the most Oscar nominations, and yesterday Debra Granik’s the little movie that could — Winter’s Bone — took home three nominations for the 20th Annual Gotham Independent Awards.
Granted it is October but this movie has been out for months and it will take the critics (as Anne Thompson always says) to keep a movie like this from fading away since I’m guessing it doesn’t have tons of money for awards campaigning.
I don’t want to overstate the case but women directors were the only ones who got multiple nominations. Lisa Cholodenko scored two for The Kids Are All Right and Lena Dunham also got two for Tiny Furniture. Dunham is a huge upcoming talent and Tiny Furniture could and should catch fire when it opens in November. It’s a terrific realistic portrait of a young woman struggling with life in that post college haze when the real world lurks out in such an overwhelming way that at times it paralyzes you. She is also developing a new script Nobody Walks with Ry Russo-Young at the Sundance lab and has an HBO pilot in the works.
As of late, both Granik’s and Cholodenko’s names have fallen off the list of best director wannabes and hopefully this nomination will at least get people thinking about their work again. It would be damn shame if the year after the first woman won the Oscar for directing that a woman didn’t score at least a nomination because there are several worthy candidates. Both Cholodenko and Granik are at the top of that list.
Other things of note in these nominations:
Four out of the five films nominated for best ensemble were directed by women: The Kids Are All Right; Please Give; Tiny Furniture and Winter’s Bone.
There are women directors in three of the five best documentary films: 12th & Delaware
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors/producers; The Oath, Laura Poitras, director/producer and Sweetgrass, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, directors
There are women directors in three of the five Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: On Coal River, Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Summer Pasture, Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers and The Wolf Knife, Laurel Nakadate, director/producer.
And a big shout out to to Tanya Hamilton for a breakthrough directing nomination for Night Catches Us.
The awards will be held November 29 in NYC.