On April 25, the Oscars aired after a delayed ceremony and extension of film considerations. As a filmmaker and movie fan, this is a night I love to watch and have forced my parents in on the fun. Love or hate the Oscars, this year provided some historic wins for women throughout the categories. I wanted to take a moment to celebrate these women when I noticed a lot of publications skipping over them.
- Ann Roth
Ann Roth has been working in costumes for motion pictures since 1964. She has over 130 credits under her belt. With her win for her work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, she became the oldest woman to win an Oscar at 89 years old. This was her fifth nomination and second win at the awards. A true legend and I only hope I can still be working with such success at that age.
- Youn Yuh-Jung
Youn Yuh-Jung has been acting for over 50 years, with her big-screen debut happening in 1971. While most of her work spans films from her native country South Korea, she has blessed American screens multiple times in her career. With her Best Supporting Actress win for her role in Minari, she became the first Korean actress to win the award and only the second woman of Asian descent. If you haven’t seen her acceptance speech, I cannot recommend it enough; this woman is hilarious and so self-aware.
- Mia Neal and Jamika Nelson
Mia Neal has been working in Hollywood as a hairstylist for the last decade — getting on bigger and bigger films each year. Jamika Wilson has been actress Viola Davis’ personal stylist since 2015 on How to Get Away with Murder. In March, Neal and Wilson became the first Black women to be nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. They then became the first Black women to win the award. Best Makeup and Hairstyling has been a part of the Oscars for 40 years. These ladies broke a barrier that took too long to break and I am ecstatic for what this win could mean for the future.
- Chloé Zhao
Chloé Zhao has been directing and writing her own films since the late 2000s. With her win of Best Director and Best Film for her film Nomadland, she became only the second woman to win in these categories and the first woman of color. She also edited and wrote the film and got a nomination in those categories as well. I have become obsessed with this woman after seeing her fangirl over Harrison Ford say her name during the show.
- Regina King
So technically Regina King was not nominated for any awards, though Leslie Odom Jr. got a Supporting Actor nomination for his role in King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami. I'm a huge fan of this woman and her entrance at the opening of the Oscars is one of the most iconic things I have witnessed. She owned the whole space and honestly no one could compare after that. Just go watch it and feel the power and just enter every room like you are Regina King entering the Oscars. So, honorary mention to what I am calling Best Oscars Entrance and she will be the winner forever.
These are just some of the women who made history at the 93rd Academy Awards. With a historic 17 wins for women and over 70 women nominated, every woman made history. It has taken 93 years for women to start getting the same basic nominations that men have been receiving since the beginning. We're just getting started and I hope women keep getting to break down these barriers.