Becoming the first woman to win Best Director is certainly an accolade, but the win doesn’t shatter the glass ceiling for female directors as much as it should.
Kathryn Bigelow directed The Hurt Locker, the rough-and-tumble Iraq war flick, which certainly appealed to testosterone-infused male voters (who are in majority). True, a woman won fair and square, but she won playing a man’s game. Oscar voters enjoy gritty films, the type of films that are not typically made by women.
The only other female directors to be nominated – Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Lina Wertmuller – all made films that didn’t directly appeal to the male demographic. Lost in Translation, The Piano and Seven Beauties were all great films, but they didn’t appeal directly to the Oscar voter – or more accurately, the man.
Nora Ephron, who directed Julie & Julia and Nancy Meyers, who wrote and directed It’s Complicated, deserved some recognition for their cinematic achievements over 2009, but received none. Although they are film veterans, their movies appeal mainly to women, and are therefore ignored.
Congrats to Bigelow for her big win, she really deserved it. But the glass ceiling has yet to be shattered.