Greta Gerwig has joined a very, very small club of female directors nominated for an Oscar. With her nomination on Tuesday morning for Lady Bird, she becomes only the fifth woman ever nominated for Best Director.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences previously recognized Lina Wertmuller in 1977, Jane Campion in 1994 and Sofia Coppola in 2004, while only one woman has ever won the award: The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow in 2010.
Lady Bird collected five Academy Award nominations in total, including Best Picture, Gerwig’s directing nod and one for Best Original Screenplay, and nominations for both her stars, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, respectively.
Throughout awards season, Gerwig has frequently been nominated for her directing efforts, most notably at the Critics’ Choice Awards and Directors Guild Awards. (The DGA Awards will be announced on Feb. 3.) She was named Best Director by the National Board of Review, and Lady Bird became Rotten Tomatoes’ best-reviewed film of 2017. (It now sits at 99 percent because of a single “rotten” review.)
Considering the Academy’s track record — not to mention, Hollywood’s lack of gender parity in general — there was no guarantee Gerwig’s name would be called come Oscar nominations. Earlier this month, she was excluded from the directing race at the Golden Globes, despite her film going on to win Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, prompting Natalie Portman’s iconic “all-male nominees” swipe.
“I actually didn’t hear her say that until the next day because I was backstage to present,” Gerwig said of Portman’s comment at the time. “There were so many great films directed by women this year like Dee Rees’ Mudbound and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. I really feel that this is going to be the last year that that’s true.”