‘Needs to change’: Star on ‘shocking’ snubs
One of the stars of Little Women, Florence Pugh, is shocked that her director Greta Gerwig wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe award last week.
"I think we were all a bit shocked, but the thing is, it's not that we were just shocked for Greta but that there were no women," Pugh told news.com.au over the phone during Little Women's press tour in Paris.
Gerwig was among one of the most prominent snubs when the nominations for the high-profile awards were announced early last week.
Commentators and fans were quick to point out that the Golden Globes voting body (some 80-something members of the eclectic Hollywood Foreign Press Association) failed to nominate any female filmmakers in any of the major film categories including Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Two years earlier, on stage at the Golden Globes, Natalie Portman was presenting the Best Director category when she pointedly trolled the organisation for nominating only men.
In 2019, after two years of the industry making an effort to focus on female filmmakers and their work, the snubbing is a slap in the face.
Pugh, who plays Amy in Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, added: "It's very shocking that this year, of all years, when there are so many more female directors and writers, it's now so obvious that something needs to change."
Those who argue that the Golden Globes recognised films based on merit and not the gender of its filmmakers miss the point of the conversation about existing industry power dynamics.
"I think women in general not being included is a wider conversation piece, but that (the Golden Globes snub) happened to a film about women and money and business is very interesting," Pugh said. "The exact film Greta made is the exact thing we need to be talking about.
"So while it's upsetting, it's an interesting point that's being made right now."
Even if you wanted to use a "meritocracy", going by something as imperfect as Rotten Tomatoes critic scores (itself a cohort dominated by male critics), it's easy to see that nominee Todd Philips and his film Joker has a score of only 69 per cent compared to Little Women's 97 per cent and Lulu Wang's The Farewell which sits on 98 per cent.
Or Melina Matsoukas' Queen & Slim's 82 per cent, Marielle Heller's A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood's 95 per cent, Lorene Scafario's Hustlers's 88 per cent and Olivia Wilde's Booksmart's 97 per cent.
How about Australian director and writer Jennifer Kent, who won three AACTAs earlier this month for The Nightingale, which is currently sitting on a score of 87 per cent?
So it's not just Gerwig's acclaimed Little Women that was overlooked. Gerwig happens to be one of only five women to have ever been nominated for a Best Director Oscar (Kathryn Bigelow is the only one to have won) in its 90-year history.
And it's not as though female directors are only making indie flicks languishing in arthouse cinemas that few people see. Many of the movies above were wide releases or studio films with sizeable budgets and decent box office takings.
The Farewell beat Avengers: Endgame in the US by having the highest per screen average this year.
Little Women is in cinemas on January 1, 2020.