Paste magazine: Little Women Exceeds $100 Million at the Box Office, Greta Gerwig Still Snubbed By the Academy

This article was originally published for Paste magazine on January 13, 2020. 

Women are shut out of the Best Directing category again this year

On the heels of the Academy Award nominations, which shut out Greta Gerwig and all other women from the Best Directing category, there is a glimmer of good news: Gerwig’s Little Women has now surpassed $100 million in box office sales, illustrating that Sony Pictures’ Louisa May Alcott adaptation is as commercially successful as it is critically lauded.

The film, which stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma WatsonFlorence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen as the inimitable March sisters, with supporting performances from Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet, has earned $107 million in worldwide ticket sales. Internationally, the film seems to be striking a chord particularly with audiences in the United Kingdom, with a sizable $17.2 million grossed.

Little Women is currently in the running in a slew of major Academy Award categories, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Ronan, Supporting Actress for Pugh, Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Original Score.

However, critics have pointed out that women filmmakers, including Gerwig, Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady On Fire), among others, were notably not included in the Best Directing categories for the Academy Awards, nor the Golden Globes or DGA Awards.

Ronan noted the oddity of Gerwig’s snub Monday, telling Deadline, “I’m really happy that the Academy recognized [Gerwig] for Adapted Screenplay and Picture, and I feel like if you’ve been nominated for Best Picture, you have essentially been nominated for Best Director,” adding, “But to me, Greta, since she started, has made two perfect films, and I hope when she makes her next perfect movie, she gets recognized for everything, because I think she’s one of the most important filmmakers of our time.”

Gerwig previously earned a Best Directing nomination for Lady Bird and is one of only five women ever to be nominated in the category. Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) is the only woman to have won the Best Directing category in the Academy Awards’ 92-year history.

Last year, directors like Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) and Chloé Zhao (The Rider) were also famously shut out of the category.

Pugh said, “I think everybody’s angry and quite rightly so. I can’t believe it’s happened again, but I don’t really know how to solve it. I don’t know what the answer is, other than we’re talking about it.”

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