This year’s Oscars undeniably had a different tone than its predecessors.The show seemed to transcend film, and focus on much larger issues of women’s rights, representation, and inclusion. This past year has brought forth many powerful movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, and with this wave of solidarity, a much needed light has been shed on some of the inequality in Hollywood. I think this years Oscars showed both, the strides being made, and just how far there is left to go.
Of the many female nominees, one was actually a trailblazer. Rachel Morrison was nominated for her work on MudBound, and is the first woman ever nominated in the cinematography category. My immediate thought was “the first…..Ever!?”. Correct, in the Oscars 90th year, a female cinematographer was nominated. Sandra Bullock made sure to nod to Morrison saying, “Here are the three men and the one trailblazing woman,” while presenting the award.
Another highly talked about woman joining a short list of names was Greta Gerwig, director of my personal favorite movie of the season, Lady Bird. Gerwig is just the 5th woman ever nominated in the best director category. Directing is a notoriously male dominated field, and earlier this awards season at the Golden Globes, actress Natalie Portman called out this fact when presenting saying “Here are the all male nominees.” While Gerwig did not win in her category, she did have a chance to address the audience, and leave her mark saying, “Go make your movie because every story needs to be told.”
One of the night’s most powerful moments came when Frances McDormand accepted her award for best actress. She asked every woman, from all categories to stand up, and urged everyone in the room to embrace inclusion, and representation. Her speech was an example of the strength and poignance women in Hollywood are displaying to create change. The women I mentioned, and so many more are forces to be reckoned with, and this Oscars has showed that a new path is being created for women in the industry, by women in the industry.