Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh react to Greta Gerwig's Best Director snub: "She's one of the most important filmmakers of our time"
Since their announcement yesterday, January 13th, the 2020 Oscars nominations lists have received a lot of coverage, and pretty intense blowback, about their significant snubs. Other than Jennifer Lopez’s mysteriously missing nomination for her work in Hustlers, what has film fans up in arms is the complete and utter lack of women in the awards’ Best Director category. And perhaps the most notable missing name on that list is Greta Gerwig, whose Little Women adaptation was an unmitigated success at the box office, and which earned six Oscar nominations in other categories. Today, Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh, who play Jo and Amy March in the film, reacted to the news. In short, they’re not happy about the snub, either.
Like us, the announcement had Ronan “scratching her head a bit,” especially since Little Women was nominated for Best Picture.
Ronan noted that the Best Picture nom is a huge honor, but it also makes Gerwig’s exclusion from the Best Director category all the more bewildering.
“Since [Gerwig] started, she 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,” Ronan told Deadline. (Ronan also starred in Gerwig’s 2018 film Lady Bird.)
Disappointing? Yes. Infuriating? Absolutely. Pugh told Deadline that The Gerwig Snub (our capitalization, not hers) was “a big blow,” and she made clear her exasperation about the industry’s pattern of overlooking female directors. Women were also excluded from the Best Director category at this year’s Golden Globes. And it’s a pattern. Since the Oscars first aired in 1929, the Academy has only nominated five women for Best Director. Only Kathryn Bigelow has won, in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.
“I think everybody’s angry, and quite rightly so,” Pugh said. “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.”
Pugh also recognized the irony that a director whose film pointedly explores feminist themes was shut out of the Best Directors boys club. Ironically, too, the Academy’s oversight actually reaffirms the incredible relevance of Gerwig’s film.
For her part, Gerwig has responded to her nominations (and lack thereof) with admirable grace. Yesterday, she released a statement expressing her gratitude to the Academy for Little Women’s six nominations, saying she is “brimming with happiness” that the Academy “recognized the collective effort” of the film’s cast and crew.
After thanking the cast and crew for their work, Gerwig shared the film’s personal significance:
“Writing and directing this film was an honor and sharing it with audiences has been the most sincerely heart-warming journey. I hope our Little Women does for another generation of girls and women what it did for me: lights a fire to write your book, make your movie, sing your verse.”
Amen to that.