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The Good and the Bad Among the 2014 Oscar Nominees

Women and Hollywood By Inkoo Kang | Women and Hollywood January 16, 2014 at 11:13AM

2013 was an even-worse-than-usual year for non-acting women in Hollywood -- only 6% of the 250 top-grossing films were directed by female filmmakers and just 10% written by female screenwriters -- so it's no surprise to us that there's little to celebrate about this year's nominees.
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Still from 'Philomena'
Still from 'Philomena'

2013 was an even-worse-than-usual year for non-acting women in Hollywood -- only 6% of the 250 top-grossing films were directed by female filmmakers and just 10% written by female screenwriters -- so it's no surprise to us that there's little to celebrate about this year's nominees. 

Women and Hollywood's Oscar columnist Susan Wloszczyna will have more detailed commentary later this morning, but here are some quick observations about the 2014 nominees:

--There are no women-directed films in the Best Picture or Best Foreign-Language Film categories this year. Only two of the nine Best Picture nominees feature female protagonists (Gravity and Philomena). I hope Ellen can raise our spirits during the ceremony, because this situation makes us pretty depressed. 

--Though Philomena had been shut out of most critics' awards, it apparently made a strong impression on the Academy, earning nods for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score. The Oscars love Judi Dench, and who can blame them?

--Neither Oprah Winfrey nor Octavia Spencer got a Best Supporting Actress nod, but 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o did. She joins her 12 Years co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Captain Philips' Barkhad Abdi as the acting nominees of color. Three black thespians among the twenty acting nominees must be some kind of Oscar record, no? Also to note: 12 Years director Steve McQueen is only the third black director and 12 Years screenwriter John Ridley only the fourth black screenwriter to be nominated. (No black filmmaker has won the Oscar Best Director prize.)

--The average age of the Best Actress nominees is 55. 

--Congrats to Jennifer Lee (Frozen) and Jehane Noujaim (The Square) for being the only female directors in their categories, Best Animated Film and Best Documentary, respectively. Documentary is always a competitive field, but it also tends to be less plagued by industry sexism as a whole, so the collective snubs of high-profile documentarians Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish), Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel), and Sarah Polley's (Stories We Tell) aren't just disappointing but surprising. 

--Two women screenwriters, Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) and Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club) co-penned their Oscar-nominated scripts.

Scroll down for the Academy-approved women-centric films and female nominees:

Best motion picture of the year
Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman, Producers
Philomena - Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

Performance by an actress in a leading role


Amy Adams in American Hustle
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock in Gravity
Judi Dench in Philomena
Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts in August: Osage County
June Squibb in Nebraska

Adapted screenplay
Before Midnight - Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke

Original screenplay
Dallas Buyers Club - Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

Best animated feature film of the year
Frozen - Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho

Achievement in costume design
The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin
12 Years a Slave - Patricia Norris

Best documentary feature
The Square - Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer

Best documentary short subject
Karama Has No Walls - Sara Ishaq

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club - Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
The Lone Ranger - Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Let It Go" from Frozen
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"The Moon Song" from Her
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

Achievement in production design
American Hustle - Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Gravity - Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby - Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
12 Years a Slave - Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Best animated short film
Get a Horse! - Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim

Best live action short film
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) - Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Awards, Gravity, Philomena, Judi Dench, Lupita Nyong'o, Diversity, Jennifer Lee, Jehane Noujaim, The Square (Al Midan), Frozen, Documentary