Now that there is enough outrage that it looks like there will be people who are voting for women just because so many women have directed movies this year – perhaps it’s time for the Academy to revisit their old policy of ten nomination ballots and ten nominees.
In 2009 and 2010, there were ten nomination ballots and ten nominees. In those years, the Academy had more flexibility in the films they put down on their ballot. They could put down animated films, for example. So those ten looked like this:
The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow — WON Picture, Director
The Blind Side
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
The King’s Speech
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Then, after voters complained that they only wanted five, things changed really fast. There were no more animated movies nominated and less movies by women:
2011-movies directed by women = 0
2012-movies directed by women = 1
2013-movies directed by women = 0
2014-movies directed by women = 1
2015 – movies directed by women = 0
2016 – movies directed by women = 0
2017 – movies directed by women = 1
2018 – movies directed by women = 0
As you can plainly see, having ten nomination slots allows for a lot more wiggle room. It’s not about top five anymore, but top ten.
Women this year have had success at the box office. Hustlers made $100 million, Harriet, Queen and Slim and Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood are all making money. With ten nomination slots that could be rewarded alongside critical acclaim and general likability.
I have no doubt that the #voteforwomen is going to force one of the films directed by women through – probably Little Women – but if they had ten, they might have two directed by women without having sacrifice the best films they actually believe are the best of the year.
This is a simply switch in how the votes go down that will solve a lot of problems for the Academy. I’ve been illustrating this for many years now, since 2011, but no one has ever really taken it to heart.
It’s either that, or finally admitting that women need their own category.
As for the Best Director race, all I can say is that if they don’t deserve it, they shouldn’t get in because all that will do is build resentment for women overall.