13 Women Directors Who Should Have Been Nominated For The Golden Globes

by Erika W. Smith


The Golden Globes released their nominations this morning, and surprise surprise, not a single woman director was nominated for the second year in a row (the last woman director to be nominated was Ava DuVernay for Selma in 2015). This is especially galling because several women-directed films are up for other awards — Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig, got four nominations in other categories, and Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, and Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, got two nominations each. The Golden Globes also failed to nominate Jordan Peele as Best Director, meaning that the Best Director nominees list is all white men with the exception of Guillermo del Toro.

In response, we’ve rounded up a list of women directors who could have been nominated. And to get in before the “but their movies just weren’t as goooood” argument, we’ll make sure that each film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 86% or higher, which is what Steven Spielberg’s the Post currently has, and which is the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score for a Best Director nominee’s movie (Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World doesn’t have one yet). (I know there are valid arguments against using Rotten Tomatoes ratings to judge a film, but it’s a good way to gauge overall critical consensus and I haven’t seen all of these movies.) (#nodisrespecttoStevenSpielberg, btw, the Postlooks interesting and I would like to see it).

1. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
99% on Rotten Tomatoes

Greta Gerwig’s (our current cover star, btw) directorial debut coming-of-age story about a high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) and her tumultuous relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf).


2. Dee Rees for Mudbound
97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Dee Rees directed this historic drama that premiered on Netflix. It’s about a white family and a black family in Mississippi after WWII and has a cast including Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, and Jason Mitchell.


3. Valerie Faris (and Jonathan Dayton) for Battle of the Sexes 
86% on Rotten Tomatoes

This comedy tells the story of Billie Jean King’s (Emma Stone) historic tennis match against Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell).


4. Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman 
92% on Rotten Tomatoes

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie, starring Gal Gadot, might be the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen and proved that yes, people will come to the box office to see (gasp!!!!) lady superheroes.


 5. Angela Robinson for Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
87% on Rotten Tomatoes

In a very different kind of Wonder Woman movie, Angela Robinson tells the story behind the creator of Wonder Woman and his inspiration — the two women he was in a polyamorous relationship with.


6. Maggie Betts for Novitiate
87% on Rotten Tomatoes

Maggie Betts directed this historical drama about a group of nuns in the 1960s, during Vatican II.


7. Ceyda Torun for Kedi 
98% on Rotten Tomatoes

Kedi is a critically-acclaimed documentary about street cats in Istanbul. Sign us the fuck up.


8. Amber Tamblyn for Paint It Black
90% on Rotten Tomatoes

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut stars Alia Shawkat as a young woman navigating an unsettling relationship with her boyfriend’s mother after his sudden death.

9. Lone Scherfig for Their Finest
89% on Rotten Tomatoes

A different kind of WWII movie, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest focuses on British propaganda.


10. Angelina Jolie for First They Killed My Father
88% on Rotten Tomatoes

Angelina Jolie directed this biopic about human rights activist Loung Ung.


11. Amanda Lipitz for Step
97% on Rotten Tomatoes

This documentary follows a Baltimore girls’ high school dance team.


12. Noël Wells for Mr. Roosevelt
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

This quirky comedy tells the story of a young woman who has to spend some quality time with her ex and his new girlfriend after their cat dies.


13. Agnés Varda (and J.R.) for Faces Places
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

French filmmaking legend Agnés Varda teamed up with street artist JR for this moving documentary about France’s “faces and places” and Varda’s own history.

Top photo: Greta Gerwig, photo by Nadya Wasylko for BUST

 More from BUST

Greta Gerwig On Her New Movie “Lady Bird” And Writing About Women: Sneak Peek

“Mudbound” Is A Slow-Burning Southern Gothic Tale: BUST Review

“Novitiate” Shows How Vatican II Hurt Catholic Nuns: BUST Review



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