Even if awards planners make an effort to lessen such, there are usually a few major shocks and heartbreaks on the morning of the Oscar nominations. However, the 95th Academy Awards nominations list seems to have more than its fair share of surprises, both good and bad.
After being passed up, “Till” filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu said that Hollywood had a history of “unabashed prejudice against black women.”
She stated on Instagram, “We live in a culture and work in sectors that are so actively devoted to defending whiteness and propagating an unrepentant sexism against black women.
“But yet. I will always be grateful for the biggest lesson of my life: that no matter what hardships or barriers I face, I always have the ability to create my own joy. This joy will always be one of my most powerful forms of resistance.
In the meantime, “The Woman King” by Gina Prince-Bythewood was completely left out of the Oscar nominations, a shocking development for a well-reviewed blockbuster that at one point had many predicting Viola Davis would win best actress for her portrayal of the feisty Agojie leader, as well as nominations for best picture and best director.
The regrettable fact that no black woman has ever been nominated for best director was not altered this year.
After two years in a row in which female directors (Jane Campion and Chloé Zhao) took home the award, there was some optimism that members could recognize some of the exceptional films this year that just so happened to have a woman in front of the camera. Prince-Bythewood, Sarah Polley for “Women Talking,” and Charlotte Wells for “Aftersun” were among the potential candidates.
Ruben Stlund (“Triangle of Sadness”) won one of the five directorial positions, beating out James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of Water”), Baz Luhrmann (“Elvis”), and Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”).