If you’re at all like me, you were dumbfounded Saturday night when Kathryn Bigelow was awarded for her work as director of The Hurt Locker. Not because she didn’t deserve it, but because, we all know that Hollywood is very much a man’s world. Note: I feel pretty comfortable in saying this as a man and also if you look at how many women directors have been nominated for an Academy Award versus how many have won it. Both numbers are far from compelling. That being said, is America ready to even entertain the possibility of Bigelow winning come Oscar night?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re the land of the free and we voted for change in 2008 and all of that politically correct stuff, but what’s really different? If you look around, the answer is not that much. This isn’t me saying it’s Obama’s fault or anything, but I just think it’s time we opened ourselves up to the idea that change is hard and it takes time. Bigelow already broke ground at the DGA for being the first woman afforded that honor, but ex-husband Cameron took home the honor at the Globes. So far, it’s pretty much anyone’s game.
I personally would be thrilled if Bigelow won. Part of it is because of her capability as a director and her knack for storytelling. However, I will admit to being somewhat spiteful and not wanting James Cameron to take it home for sheer spectacle alone. I swear, it’s mainly the talent thing, but I’d be lying if Avatar didn’t sneak in there a little. Anyway, back to the actual focus of Bigelow… while there has been a clear evolution of women in film, and some setbacks too, the portrayal of most women nowadays is largely positive. I say largely because it’s clear that some directors still have some progress to make. Still, Hollywood’s reputation as a man’s town isn’t entirely correct. While women are definitely present, few have ever graced the director’s chair. Their presence is much more behind-the-scenes than the Spielberg’s of the world. If Hollywood’s shown that it’s not that ready for female directors, how it’s going to affect women in Hollywood if Bigelow ends up with that statuette? While it seems like the answer should be an overwhelmingly positive thing, we’ll just have to tune in to the Oscars to find out. While few, if any, more deserving directors come to mind, I can’t help but feel that Bigeolw’s DGA and, hopefully, her win Oscar night would be a huge triumph for women in the film industry. The question is, will the men in the audience be able to take it?