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Movies With Female Directors Like "Barbie" Have Been Excluded For Decades, Here Are The Worst Snubs

When the 2024 Academy Awards nominations were revealed, and Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's names were nowhere to be found in the Best Director and Best Actress categories, respectively, the internet went bonkers.

Greta and Margot smiling
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Supporting actors like Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera (both nominated), and Simu Liu, John Cena, and Ncuti Gatwa shared their support for their Barbie creators. Even Hillary Clinton tweeted to show her support for the record-breaking film, which was shocking.

America Ferrera and Ryan Gosling on the red carpet

While I enjoyed watching Barbie as a Greta Gerwig superfan — my worn-out copies of Greenberg and Frances Ha can attest to that — we must have a much bigger conversation here. For example, Justine Triet, nominated for Best Director for Anatomy of a Fall (2023), is only the eighth woman nominated for the category.

Closeup of Justine Triet
Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images

Yes, you read that correctly. Out of 96 ceremonies since the first Academy Awards in 1929, only eight female directors have been nominated for Best Director. Make it make sense.

Closeup of Jane Campion

It's nine nominations overall since Jane Campion, who directed The Piano (1993) and The Power of the Dog (2022), was nominated twice.

Laurent Koffel / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In 1976, Seven Beauties' Italian director, Lina Wertmüller, made history as the first woman nominated for the category, so it took a hot minute to even recognize that female filmmakers were in the game to begin with.

Lina Wertmüller

Seven Beauties was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor for Giancarlo Giannini, and it won nothing.

Caren Golden / Getty Images

In 2003, Sofia Coppola was the first American woman nominated in the category for the film Lost in Translation. And yes, many movies were made by women worldwide before these milestones.

Sofia Coppola onset

If it wasn't bad enough that being a woman stood in the way of specific recognition — if they were a woman of color or queer, their film might be excluded entirely.

Poster for
/ ©TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection, Focus Features / ©Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

So, to bring attention to the big picture — I gathered 21 movies directed by women besides Barbie that deserved at least a Best Director nomination.

1.Children of a Lesser God (1986)

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2.Yentl (1983)

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3.Awakenings (1990)

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4.The Prince of Tides (1991)

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5.Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

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6.An Education (2009)

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7.The Kids Are All Right (2010)

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8.Winter's Bone (2010)

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9.Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

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10.Selma (2014)

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11.Mudbound (2017)

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12.Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

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13.Little Women (2019)

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14.Honey Boy (2019)

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15.CODA (2021)

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16.Women Talking (2022)

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17.The Woman King (2022)

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18.Till (2022)

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19.Aftersun (2022)

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20.She Said (2022)

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21.Past Lives (2023)

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Ultimately, many critically acclaimed films directed and written by women were left out of major awards ceremonies. This year alone, movies like Fair Play, Joy Ride, Bottoms, Polite Society, You Hurt My Feelings, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and A Thousand and One were excluded from conversations.

<div><p>If this many were left out of the 2023 lineup, imagine how many were overlooked since the first Academy Awards in 1929. Short answer: a whole lot more than just <i>Barbie.</i></p></div><span> Lionsgate /Courtesy Everett Collection, / ©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection</span>

If this many were left out of the 2023 lineup, imagine how many were overlooked since the first Academy Awards in 1929. Short answer: a whole lot more than just Barbie.

Lionsgate /Courtesy Everett Collection, / ©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Are there any movies with female directors you think deserved a nomination I didn't include?

Let me know in the comments.