The film has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Director. This shouldn't be any more noteworthy than another film's success, but it is—women behind the camera rarely get mainstream recognition for their work. The nod makes Gerwig just the fifth woman nominated for directing in 90 years of Academy Awards—and the first female nominee since Kathryn Bigelow became the only woman to win, for The Hurt Locker in 2010. ... Gerwig has at once become her own success story and a symbol of the future of storytelling—of the not-so-radical notion that we may, perhaps even soon, get to stop qualifying director with female.
Keep reading Berman's piece here.
In a companion essay titled "Hollywood Is Suddenly Serious. That's Exactly What America Needs Right Now," Stephanie Zacharek writes about a "new Hollywood":
This new Hollywood, far from perfect but changing swiftly in exciting and encouraging ways, is one sign of hope that America can live up to its ideals. ... Consider a mass-market entertainment like Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, which, though set largely in Africa, speaks of an America that's more inclusive rather than less. A movie like Black Panther, with roles for many terrific black actors who have been underserved by mainstream projects, probably couldn't even have gotten made just five years ago. Yet this well-crafted, thoughtful picture not only exists but also has become a massive worldwide hit. This isn't just the kind of movie America wants to see; it's what the world wants to see, and it helps put our best face forward as a nation.
Keep reading Zacharek's essay here.