Natalie Portman made a subtle but important statement with her outfit at the 2020 Oscars.
At first look, you could be forgiven for thinking Natalie’s red carpet look was a standard one – aside from the fact she was wearing a stunning Dior dress with a black cape.
On closer inspection, you’ll see the golden embroidery on her cape was telling an important story.
The stitching spelled out the names of the women directors who weren’t nominated for the prestigious best director award – a category dominated solely by male talent this year.
Explaining her decision on the red carpet, Natalie said:
“I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their amazing work this year in my subtle way.”
On the cape were the names of Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
It’s not the first time Natalie has made her feelings known about lack of representation for women at the Oscars. In 2018, when presenting the award for best director with Ron Howard, she announced the category by saying: “Here are all the male nominees.”
Throughout the 92-year history of the Oscars, there’s been a strong gender imbalance present. The starkest example is in the cinematography category which was the last un-gendered award to nominate a woman (Mudbound's Rachel Morrison), just two years ago and hasn't nominated another woman since. There have been 449 nominations for best director, with just five of these going to women. Of those five, only Kathryn Bigelow went on to win. She took home the directing Oscar for The Hurt Locker, a war drama starring Jeremy Renner, in 2010.
Read our feature about the reason for this disparity here.
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