Imagine as we enter Oscar race 2013 three strong films written and directed by women, with leading women at the forefront, one of which is crowned the early frontrunner to win. Imagine an Oscar race where it didn’t matter anymore. Maybe it’s the same year Kathryn Bigelow, Angelina Jolie and Jane Campion all have Oscar frontrunners. Even though it’s 2013, 86 years after the Oscars began, it seems an impossibility. There are too many obstacles. Most dramas, hell, most films, revolve around a central male character. Even the film that won the first and only woman Best Director and Best Picture was all about men in war. When was the last time a film with a central female character won Best Picture? 2002’s Chicago, over a decade ago.
Although most people are irritated by this conversation, it is a conversation that must be had, given that women represent over half the population. There are so many of us women, in fact, that it is odd we’re still called a minority. To understand why it’s always about the central male figure in the Oscar race, and in Hollywood in general right now (it wasn’t always the case) we need to examine a twofold problem. On the one hand, the majority of industry filmmakers and voters are male — especially within the Academy across the board in most branches, with the possible exception of the Screen Actors Guild. Ticket buyers often tend to be male because movies of all kinds target the male mentality. The other problem is that somewhere along the line women began buying tickets to the few crappy movies aimed at them because there weren’t any other better movies to choose from. Thus, the rom-com genre devolved from being pretty great in the 1970s, 80s and even 90s, into what it is now: regurgitated rescue porn.