Last night the Oscars winners 2020 were announced. And presenting was a past winner. Star Wars star Natalie Portman attended this year’s Academy Awards wearing a very special tuxedo-cut blake cape featuring a stunning detail that made a pretty clear political statement regarding the best director nominees.
The dress worn by Natalie Portman featured the names of female directors, who in Portman’s opinion had been snubbed, embroidered on the lapel with golden thread. And for those who still did not get the message, Portman clarified this specific detailing on her outfit when asked about it on the red carpet.
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year… in my subtle way.”
This awards season has been full of wonderfully crafted movies, helmed by female directors. Movies that have been praised both critically and commercially, yet still did not manage to achieve the honor of being nominated at this year’s Oscars. Natalie Portman’s golden threaded ensemble included most of the names that the Academy failed to consider including Lulu Wang for The Farewell, Greta Gerwig for Little Women, Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim, Lorene Scafaria for Hustlers, Mati Diop for Atlantics, Alma Har’el for Honey Boy and Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
In the entire 92-year history of the Academy, only 5 women have ever been nominated for the much-coveted Best Director award, with only one ever taking it home. That was, of course, Kathryn Bigelow for her intense war drama The Hurt Locker. Sadly, things still have yet to change as the nominees for 2020 were once again male-dominated with Martin Scorsese picking up a nomination for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, which came away with the victory. Obviously this is not to say that these directors did not deserve to be nominated, but the conversation has now begun as to whether the Oscars should have more options for Best Director, or even split the award into ‘male’ and ‘female’.
Watchers at home could see Natalie Portman in her dress as she announced the winner of the Best Adaptaed Screenplay, which went to Taika Waititi for JoJo Rabbit. Announcing beside Timothee Chalamet, she had removed her cape by the time she made it out on stage.
This is also not the first time that Natalie Portman has called out the lack of female nominees at The Academy Awards, and declared her annoyance at so many talented female filmmakers being overlooked. Last year Portman presented the award for Best Director alongside Ron Howard at the Golden Globes and took the opportunity whilst on stage to have a swipe at the awards for having no female directors among the five nominees.
“Here are all the male nominees.”
This year’s Academy Awards did make history, however, with director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite being the first foreign-language movie to ever take home the Best Picture award. This comes to us from Oscars Ceremony 2020 and Amy Kaufman’s Official Twitter Account.