Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another year of slow progress for female movie directors

At last year’s Oscars, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director.
She was the only woman among the five nominees.
Two of the 10 Best Picture nominees last year were directed by women, including Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and Lone Scherfig’s “An Education.”
At this year’s Oscars, to be held Sunday Feb. 27, no women are nominated for Best Director. But like last year, two of the 10 Best Picture nominees were directed by women: “The Kids Are All Right” by Lisa Cholodenko and “Winter’s Bone” by Debra Granik.
I recently watched two movies directed by women that I thought were excellent: “The Savages” (2007) by Tamara Jenkins and “Away from Her” (2006) by Sarah Polley.
That got me thinking about who the best female directors working today are.
So I posed the question to the Netflix community at Ning.
One member spoke of her fondness for the work of Julie Taymor, who did “Titus” (1999), “Frida” (2002), “Across the Universe” (2007) and “The Tempest” (2010).
But there wasn’t a lot of love for Bigelow, who also directed “Near Dark” (1987) and “Point Break” (1991), and Sofia Coppola, who directed “Lost in Translation” (2003). Both were described as “mediocre.”
In July 2010, Metacritic ranked the best women film directors by their critical reviews.

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