Justine Triet was ‘surprised’ that she was the only woman nominated for Best Director

There was a lot of justified anger towards this year’s Oscar nominations, but the voters did make smart choices on some of the nominations. Yes, I’m using this moment to rave about Anatomy of a Fall, a brilliant little French film directed by Justine Triet and starring Sandra Huller. AOAF is a wonderful film and I was so happy to see it get nominated in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. I actually think AOAF has a good shot in screenplay, and Sandra Huller might be a sleeper pick for Best Actress. Huller is only the third German actress to ever get an Oscar nom (after Luise Rainer and Marlene Dietrich). I don’t want to hear sh-t about “Huller stole Margot Robbie’s nomination” or “Triet stole Greta Gerwig’s nomination.” Both Robbie and Huller should have been nominated, and both Triet and Gerwig should have been nominated. There was and is room for two women in Best Director. Triet thinks so too – she spoke to the Hollywood Reporter after the noms came out, and she mentioned her surprise that she was the only woman nominated in the director category.

Anatomy of a Fall director Justine Triet was nominated as the sole female filmmaker in the best director category during the Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, which, the director tells The Hollywood Reporter, is something she could have never imagined.

“I cried… the first one [nomination] was for script and I was so happy. But it was after when I watched the name of my editor, I cried, because it was so surprising. I didn’t imagine that Laurent Sénéchal could be involved in this game,” says Triet. “And of course for best director. I was surprised because there are no more women beside me. So of course, I’m so, so lucky and very proud of all these things.”

To be nominated by her peers in the directing category was “really moving” for the French filmmaker. “Most of these people since I was a child I’ve admired so much, and of course to be involved in this history, it means a lot for me. It was not a dream because I could not imagine,” she says. Triet’s nomination came following a year where zero female filmmakers were nominated in the best director category. This year, Barbie director Greta Gerwig was notably snubbed in the category. Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things), Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer), Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest) and Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon) were nominated in the coveted category alongside Triet.

The Academy has nominated only seven women total (eight with this year’s nominations) in the best director category, and only three have won. Gerwig (for Lady Bird) along with Lina Wertmüller, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, Emerald Fennell, Chloe Zhao and Jane Campion are the only women nominated in the century-long history of the Academy Awards.

“When we were in the writing process, we were sure that it will be very, not a small movie, but a very independent and very ‘whoa,’ so of course, it’s a very huge fairytale for us and it gives me a lot of confidence for the future. I say to myself, ‘Okay, maybe it’s possible to do very radical movies, to follow our intuition and to stay in the game,’ you know? This is crazy. I want to cry all day. I never cry and today I was crying because this is really, really huge.”

When asked what other films she was rooting for this awards season, she mentioned Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Bradley Cooper’s Maestro and Gerwig’s Barbie, among others. She said that during her campaign trail, where she won the Golden Globe for best screenplay and the BAFTA for best international independent film, among others, she loved meeting Past Lives director Celine Song and Poor Things star Mark Ruffalo.

[From THR]

I’m so pleased for her and I hope these nominations ensure that all of her future projects are fully financed. I doubt Triet will be offered some big American film, but I bet she wouldn’t even want to do anything like that. Now, maybe she’ll invite Mark Ruffalo or Margot Robbie to come to France and star in one of her movies. As for “And of course for best director. I was surprised because there are no more women beside me” – that’s a classy and simple way of pointing out that the Academy should have nominated Gerwig. And maybe Celine Song too (Past Lives got nominated in Best Picture, after all).

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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37 Responses to “Justine Triet was ‘surprised’ that she was the only woman nominated for Best Director”

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  1. Barnabus says:

    I’m happy for Justine Triet. Her ‘surprise’ at the final list of directors shouldn’t be read as an endorsement for Greta Gerwig. There are other female-directed films that have not been part of the conversation and Triet could have been referring to those as well.

  2. Noisette says:

    In comparison, there are three women nominated (out of five slots) in the category “Best directing” at the Césars.

    • Barnabus says:

      The Cesar awards honor French films. All five directors, three women and two men, are French. I get your point but this also shows how diverse global cinema is. Not all Oscar members are American and those voters tend to have a much broader span of films to choose from.

    • Mel says:

      The Cesar also celebrate Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, so I am not ready to hand out a trophy just yet … let’s also not think for a minute that there won’t be a Depardieu-shaped elephant in the room at the ceremony next month. I don’t remember if we already know who is emcee this year … Should be interesting…

      • Noisette says:

        I looked it up and there will be several emcees.

        Polanski winning was a slap in the face of the victims.

        Don’t get me started on Depardieu who is a huge piece of s***. If you didn’t already see it, I recommend the episode of “Complément d’enquête” on him (a french show on investigation journalism, I don’t know if it can be found subtitled in english). But I have to tell you there are sequences difficult to stomach. I spent the entire episode with a look of disgust on my face.

    • Barnabus says:

      Noisette. You’re the one who brought up the Cesar awards to highlight their inclusion of female directors and in the span of an hour you criticize them for past honorees. It’s this type of knee-jerk outrage and hot topic activism that lessens the seriousness of the discussion. Choose your lane and stop jumping on the flavor-of-the-month social justice warrior bandwagon.

      • Noisette says:

        Barnabus. I think it’s possible to be appreciative of the inclusion of female directors and disapprove of some past honorees. People are allowed to have varied opinions.

  3. KeKe Swan says:

    I’m happy for Triet also, but the INSTANT I found out about her nom, I understood why Greta hadn’t made the cut. The academy couldn’t POSSIBLY nominate TWO women directors in a single year.

    The insult over adapted/original screenplay made more sense, too. They couldn’t ignore a script that was so inventive, but there was someone they really wanted to pick for the original category so the made up a reason to shaft GG.

    Basically, these sexist academy voters have a case of the ass about Greta Gerwig. They were all set to have a big serious competition between big serious (masculine) movies and then this stupid doll movie comes out of nowhere and is actually GOOD and steals their manly thunder. They want really badly to pretend it doesn’t exist… but they can’t.


  4. JW says:

    In my opinion, watch Barbie and Anatomy of a Fall back to back and it becomes more understandable that Academy voters, and not just men, could legitimately feel that Greta Gerwig and Justine Triet do not belong in the same conversation. Same if you watch those, plus I, Tonya and think that Barbie was not an Oscar-caliber acting role for Margot, who is certainly capable of them. A movie can be meaningful for audience members, but not a technical achievement in a certain category.

    • K.T says:

      Yeah, better comparison is with a billion bad nominations that nobody ever questioned… Like ‘Crash’ winning best film. Or Kevin Costner getting Oscar for directing the flaccid Dances With Wolves lol or driving miss daisy as best film! Barbie is much better than those films but it’s female based so it gets hyper criticised.

      • mel says:

        Those were a long time ago though. I think JW is comparing this years nominations. Having said that, yes absolutely, there is a history of supporting white men.

      • NikkiK says:

        Except everybody criticizes those movies. All the time. Every year there’s a round of worse Oscar winners ever. It’s talked about ad nauseum.

        Also Barbie did get a Best Picture. And that’s all it was ever going to get. The Academy has never respected comedies or comedic performances.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “The Academy has never respected comedies or comedic performances.”

        This is the root of the problem regarding “Barbie” and lack of nominations.

      • Kirsten says:

        BayTampaBay: It’s completely the same with horror, which is also rarely given consideration. Florence Pugh and Ari Aster should absolutely have been nominated for Midsommar the year that film came out, but both were totally overlooked.

  5. Fina says:

    Can I ask fellow celebitchies something: who would you have taken out? I am thrilled for Sandra Hüller and Justine Triet, so would not want to swap them at all. I must admit that I did not watch the nominated movies, but just from what I read I would probably take out Carey Mulligan to have space for Margot and Martin Scorcese to have space for Greta. But that is just because I read underwhelming things about those two movies, Maestro and KOTFM. So wondering how you who have actually watched them would have voted?

    • Kirsten says:

      I think I probably would’ve taken out Scorcese for director, but I’m not sure Margot deserved a nomination for her role in Barbie. She was good but it’s not a performance that stands up to the others. Her biggest contribution was as a producer and helping to get Barbie made and then released so successfully.

    • Barnabus says:

      Fair question but you won’t get a fair answer. For every one person that saw Nyad that’s a million who saw Barbie. Annette Benning would seem an obvious choice for this reason alone. There’s no denying the technical craft of Scorcese or Nolan, even if you didn’t like their movies. For me, the merit of Barbie is in the writing so I don’t think any director should be swapped for Gerwig. A nomination is subjective after all.

      • K.T says:

        I skimmed through Nyad and while Annette Benning/Jodie were great as always I wouldn’t have given that film much in contention including the best actress & supporting actress? I don’t know, it was an underwhelming movie in my opinion. Sandra, Emma and Lily were deserving of the nominations.

    • Ellen says:

      I did watch all of the contenders and the foreign group. I would not have considered Greta for direction as I found it an uneven execution for a comedy. I would have maybe put in Celine Song for Past lives. As for Margot Robbie, her performance wasn’t nearly as strong as the other contenders. It was simply a very strong year for films. Direction is a technical award and Gerwig is not quite there yet. As a female I would have loved to have seen multiple female nominees but not at the expense of politics over talent. So many stronger directors are always overlooked, the outrage about Gerwig is ridiculous.

  6. Louisa says:

    Anatomy of a Fall is my movie of the year so am thrilled for Triet.
    And I don’t know how true this is, but I just read yesterday her next project is about the last woman to be executed in Iceland and will star Jennifer Lawrence. As an avid fan of Icelandic and Scandinavian TV and movies I am excited about the story but not so much about the star……

    • mel says:

      Ugh I was PSYCHED until I read Jennifer Lawrence. 😐

      • LTA says:

        Because….Jennifer Lawrence is a bad actress? Come on, I know these things are subjective and JLaw was really overexposed for a while, but even her biggest detractors must concede that she is very talented. Have you seen Winter’s Bone? I personally think this collab with Triet is a fascinating career reset for Jennifer (which she arguably already launched with No Hard Feelings”)

  7. NikkiK says:

    As someone who is meh about Barbie and the only character that experienced actual character growth was…..KEN! I felt Barbie wasn’t even the focal point in her own movie. Ugh. I would love to hear why folks believe GG was snubbed. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing but was Barbie a better directed film than some of the films that did receive nominations?

    • CeeGee says:

      THIS! Thank you. I was underwhelmed by the movie – it wasn’t terrible by any stretch, and had some fun moments, but I overall felt it was pretty predictable and meandering (there was so much of people just running/being chased). I certainly don’t feel that it was particularly well directed or written. I left feeling that Ryan would likely get noms though, because in my opinion he was the standout of the entire film – both because his acting was superb, AND because the movie is MORE ABOUT KEN THAN BARBIE (which is a valid criticism of the writing as it is clear that was not the intent). I don’t think America deserved her nom either, and I’m a fan of her – she just wasn’t that good in this. Margot was cute, but not outstanding imo (although I do feel she has an Oscar win in her future), but she absolutely deserves producer accolades.

      Imo Barbie is a fun movie, and I absolutely get why it made bank and was successful – but that doesn’t mean it should be automatically nominated for everything. If it had been I’m willing to bet that in a few years it would be one of those “why did we all think this was the best thing ever?” movies. This is all my own opinion of course, and I totally understand that other people have differing opinions, but I’m really skeptical of this being called anti-feminist and a snub when I just think the film isn’t that good, and I bet others just agree with that. Maybe it’s time to revisit an Oscar category regarding pop culture influence/popularity? Because Barbie would be the clear winner there, and that’s totally fair!

      For what it’s worth, I DO think both What Was I Made For and Dance the Night should have gotten best song noms.

  8. Valentina says:

    Anatomy of a Fall was my favorite film of the year, I’m taking my mom to watch it this weekend! I’m so glad it’s receiving so many accolades and hopefully it’ll leave the Oscars with best original screenplay 🙏🏻🙏🏻 I hate the Academy for believing one female director nominated is enough. What else would Greta Gerwig need to have done?

  9. melissa says:

    Anatomy of a Fall is an incredible movie. Just watched it yesterday. The fight scene left me breathless. The court scenes…is this how it happens?? Court is like a conversation…mind blowing!
    And that kid was unbelievable. Really a moving movie brilliantly made given there are no bells and whistles, minimal set design etc.

    Both nods are well deserved above Barbie IMO.

    • Louisa says:

      I was also so surprised at the court scenes but based on other shows / movies I’ve seen I think this is how a number of European courts function.

  10. Lau says:

    I hope the movie wins some awards because French culture officials didn’t make it easy for it to get there. It will be truly amazing for it to win and have our culture minister having to congratulate the team through gritted teeth. The French movie that was put forward for France to spite Justine Triet didn’t even make it to the Foreign Language Film category.

    • Louisa says:

      Hi Lau, Can you expand on that? Why did officials make it difficult for them? And I saw someone posted yesterday about Macron wouldn’t be happy about the nomination. Do you know anything about that?

      • justine says:

        Hi it was me who posted about it 🙂
        When she won the palme d’or she made big comment about macron’s politics especially about the pension. She wasn’t nasty but she pointed out what a lot of us french were feeling : He uses violence to end pacifist protest and he sees himself as a kink.
        Following that Macron and his minister were mad at her (letting it know in the press) The prim minister told journalist that she can’t watch the film due to triet’s comment.
        AND in france every decision is very controlled by l’Elysee (macron’s office) so a lot of us think that the committee who selected the one and only french movie that will go to the oscar didn’t choose triet’s movie to please macron.

      • Lau says:

        Thanks @justine ! Triet never said anything nasty but this government (well the previous one but that’s a whole other story) just likes to be petty and publicly punish people who say anything. So the officials responsible for submitting a French movie for the Foreign Language category submitted another movie which didn’t get the same buzz as this one did it just to be petty and it beautifuly backfired. Now if the movie wins any oscar they’ll have to publicly congratulate the team and they’ll probably pretend that it got made because of the government’s financial aid (which is almost non-existant).

  11. Jesus says:

    Barbie was ass I’m sorry. Greta did a good job in directing but nowhere close to Oscar-level. It was so self indulgent, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but in Barbie it made the comic timing so off. Half of the movie should’ve stayed in the editing room’s floor.
    If she were a man she would be nominated though, of course, and that is disheartening. However I just thinking centering this conversation around Greta is not very productive because she (and Margot) just… doesnt deserve it. Celine Song though, that’s the real snub. And yk, it wouldnt bother me if the 3 of them got nominated.
    Overall, not a very exciting season. My nemesis (Nolan) will likely get BD. Just ass

    • Korra says:

      Your nemesis? What a weird take. I’m not even a big fan, but no denying his craftsmanship.

      • Jesus says:

        Babes, at what point did I say he has no craftmanship? I say he is my nemesis (which is over the top internet language btw — I swear I wont jump him if I see him around)
        I think Nolan’s body of work is very male centric. Male gaze for a male public. Oppenheimer was technically well crafted yes, but it does a piss poor job at actually discussing Oppie’s ‘legacy’ and worries about acquitting him as a individual All. The. Time. And while ofc we can (and should!) have difficult conversations abt people like Oppenheimer and their complexities, I don’t think Nolan (a white, British male) should’ve been the one to do so. Also, I just think his fixation on pratical effects (big explosions!!! Boom!!!!!!! Fuck CGI its not real artistry!!!!) despite its enviromental costs its uh…. not cute
        On another note, I do think its borderline sickening how likely it is this movie will sweep the Oscars in such a context the world is in right now. Two major wars going on right now. I wonder in how many years from now will we get that Putin/Netanyahu humanizing film

  12. idontlie says:

    Honestly, I’m not surprised so many so-called ”feminists” act like her nomination doesn’t even matter. Barbie fans are unhinged and she’s French. An american is an american, even when feminist.

  13. Annie says:

    Poor Things is such a male take on female liberation. I much prefered films such as “Anatomy of a fall” or “Pricilla” or “Barbie” and their take on women’s POV.

  14. Melissa says:

    I was definitely wrong the other day and thought there were NO women. Glad to hear that there is at least one on the list. Still aghast at the imbalance, but perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised every time the oscars treats marginalized groups the same way that as society at large