Golden Globe Nominations Make History With Three Women in Best Director Category

The 2021 Golden Globe nominations are making history by naming three female filmmakers in the best director category. Women are often overlooked in awards shows’ directing categories, but Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and Regina King’s GG noms are hopefully a sign that sexist trend is changing. Zhao, Fennell, and King were recognized for their respective films Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, and One Night in Miami.

This year’s Golden Globe nominations in general are a huge step forward. Past years didn’t even include two female directors in the best director category. Zhao, Fennell, and King bring the number of times female directors have been nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to 10. Barbra Streisand and Kathryn Bigelow were each nominated twice, and Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Ava DuVernay also received nominations. For reference, the Golden Globes has been nominating directors since 1943. 

This year’s group of GG-nominated female directors is also ethnically diverse. Zhao is the first Asian woman to be nominated in the category, and King is the second Black woman to receive the nomination.

King’s movie, One Night in Miami, follows a fictional depiction of one night when Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gather to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement. King spoke to The New York Times of her decision to make her feature film directing debut.

“One of the things that attracted me to his script is that it’s an actor’s piece. And being an actor, of course, I’m going to gravitate to something that I feel like is an opportunity for thespians to really sink their teeth in,” she said. “And being an actor, I understand what it takes to get to emotional space, and ‘what’s easy’ for one actor is not necessarily easy for another, how one communicates is not the same for another. I’m sensitive to all of those things.”

Other notable 2021 Golden Globe nominations include the late Chadwick Boseman’s nod for his acting in the Netflix original movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Fennell’s Promising Young Woman also swept in the major film categories. Also, let’s not forget that the internet-favorite Emily in Paris surprised fans with two nominations.

Streisand is the only woman to ever win the Golden Globe for best director (for 1984’s Yentl). There’s a good chance that will change this year.

For a complete list of nominations, click here

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