Early Monday morning, we learned Little Women scooped up six Oscar nominations but, surprisingly, director Greta Gerwig — a hoped-for frontrunner — was not nominated in the Best Director category. Just after the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced, Little Women stars and Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh shared statements reacting to Gerwig’s exclusion from the Best Director category.
Ronan, who is a nominee for Best Actress, and Pugh, a nominee for Best Supporting Actress, shared statements with Deadline (via Indiewire) regarding Gerwig’s perceived 2020 Oscars snub. Ronan is now a four-time Oscar nominee and has worked with Gerwig before on 2017’s Lady Bird, which earned the director a Best Director Oscar nom back at the 2018 ceremony. Ronan tells Deadline she was “scratching [her] head a bit” and went on to comment,
“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. 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.”
Pugh, who earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Amy March, remarked Gerwig’s absence from the Best Director line-up is “a big blow, especially because she created a film that is so her and so unique and it’s just come out of her, and it’s been a story she’s wanted to do for so long,” and continued,”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.”
Gerwig’s snub isn’t just notable or fuss-worthy because she’s a woman (although that’s a major factor). What is also surprising and disheartening is that Gerwig has proven herself a nomination-worthy director in the past. Additionally, she earned a nomination in Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on the incredible script which pulls from Louisa May Alcott‘s timeless novel. Additionally, Best Picture and Best Director nominations tend to go hand-in-hand, especially considering a movie is argubly not a movie without a director to steer the proverbial ship. The finished product that Little Women is which allowed it to become a Best Picture nominee, the performances turned in by Pugh and Ronan, the screenplay adapted for the big screen — it all involved Gerwig’s decision-making skills and creative eye being put to good use.
As such, Pugh and Ronan’s disappointment is totally understandable. That said, we’ll still see Gerwig and her Little Women team at this year’s Oscars ceremony — a big win for us all, regardless — and they can now officially go to said ceremony knowing their movie has officially made over $100 million worldwide.
Little Women is currently in theaters now.