Oscars 2020: Natalie Portman Calls out Lack of Female Director Nominations With Gown

Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, who famously called out the Golden Globes for not nominating any women directors back in January 2018, found a unique way to make the same point at the 92nd Academy Awards red carpet on Sunday. The Annihilation star wore a Dior gown with the names of female directors printed on it in their honor. There were no women nominated in the Best Director field at the 2020 Oscars.

"I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in a subtle way," she told the Los Angeles Times.

This year's nominees for Best Director are Sam Mendes (1917), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). The only film directed by a woman nominated for Best Picture this year is Greta Gerwig's Little Women.

Although the category's winners have been diverse in recent years, the only woman to ever win the award was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009). Only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director, with the most recent being Lady Bird (2017) director Gerwig.

During the 2018 Golden Globes, Portman famously called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for only nominating men for Best Director that year. Before listing the nominees, she introduced them as the "all-male nominees," creating an awkward moment for co-presenter Ron Howard.

In January, Insecure star Issa Rae pulled a similar move when announcing the Oscar nominations. After listing the Best Director nominees, she said, "Congratulations to those men."

This year, some of the best-reviewed movies were directed by women. The Farewell, directed by Lulu Wang, was even named the best feature of the year at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards. However, the Awkwafina-starring film was completely shut out at the Oscars. Gerwig was also thought to be a shoo-in for directing Little Women, but only earned a nomination for her screenplay.


Gerwig and Wang were both listed on Portman's cape. Lorne Scafaria (Hustlers), Mati Diop (Atlantics) and Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood) also made her dress.

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images