The Oscars 2019: Strong female nominees

February 11, 2019

The Oscars 2019 is just around the corner and as we look at the nominees this year, it’s honorable to see how far women have come in the film industry.

Seeing as more and more women are being nominated and winning the Oscars every year; we can’t help but admire this long and overdue journey for the XX gender.

But to every sweet moment lies a bittersweet realization - do the actresses and female directors still have a long way to go?

Studies have shown that from all the Oscar ceremonies over the years, that an average of 14.7 women were nominated per year, in comparison to 115.1 for men at the Academy Awards – an outstanding gap, which brings to light that women deserve the same recognition for the same work.

And more surprisingly, over the last 20 years the total number of female Oscar nominees stood at 605 while 2,675 men were nominated for the same categories and recognition. 

But if we take a look at the 90th Academy Awards, which saw only six women take home the golden Oscars award in comparison to the 33 male winners that year – fans clearly cannot deny the existence of a gender gap.

And that’s not even the lowest recorded number of female Oscar winners - it was back in the Oscars 2012 when only four women won their categories and went home with the statuettes.

The gender gap may be news for some but for others it’s reminder of the never-ending battle for women’s recognition in the media industry.

But what does that mean for us fans? No matter what, more female recognition in the industry means it's a step in the right direction.

We already told you that the Oscar nominations this year are not to be taken lightly because of the breakthrough milestones these Oscar nominated movies have checked off…a first all-colored cast nomination for Black Panther, a first best actress and best song nomination for Lady Gaga, a first foreign nomination for Poland's Cold War and a possible Best Director win for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

But the work these following phenomenal actresses have put forth through their acting deserves a standing ovation - these four strong women are challenging the industry and are gaining momentum in the somewhat malleable road for women in the future.

Nominated in the Actress in a Leading Role Oscars category, these four women, win or lose, should be proud for the work they do for the women from the past, women in the present and women of the future.

Glenn Close, The Wife

Glenn Close has always been a phenomenal actress, but her work in The Wife proves that there’s a flavor of acting you only get when you’ve been in the industry for a long time.

Her role in The Wife is not only complex but rather simple and subtle and yet she managed to capture our attention throughout the entire film.

The American 71-year-old actress owned the role in this drama film, even though she didn’t have big scenes, dramatic endings or an antagonist role…she just acted superbly and is a great model for actors and actresses to be.

With age comes wisdom and that’s exactly what Glenn Close represented in The Wife, she needn’t all that drama. This added to her benefit to get her an Oscar nomination for Leading Actress this year.

Glenn Close took on a role that many women can relate to and the lack of cinematic dramatic elements were key in this film because the focus was on her internal battle, which she portrayed outwardly very well.

Playing Joan Castleman, the wife of a great writer, we see her deal with her own aspirations and wifely expectations in a life that has suppressed her for a long time.

A character that has more layers to her than an onion, Glenn Close represented a woman who doesn’t want to live her life in the shadows of her husband but still wants to be as supportive as she can be.

And we see her character’s conflicts come to life when a Nobel Prize is thrown into the plot.

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (available on OSN Store)

If Lady Gaga was a master of anything in life, it’s her ability to shapeshift herself to take our breath away…

Whether it’s her jaw-dropping performances on stage or her amazing execution of intense scenes – we see why Lady Gaga is a force to be reckoned with and her role in A Star Is Born combines those two worlds perfectly.

Playing alongside Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga is a true leading woman because we see her act out a role so perfectly that seems to be too familiar to her.

During Lady Gaga’s career, fans were introduced to her life as a struggling musician trying to make it in the music industry and we also learned of the times when she almost quit and the times when she wasn’t allowed to quit by her representing manager – and we’re grateful for this.

Her character as a musician who is trying to find her way into success and fame is too real on-screen for us not to believe that it might be personal for her…and this might be the reason behind her well-deserved Oscars nomination.

By never giving up on her dream and of course thanks to her co-star, Bradley Cooper, for pushing her into the limelight, Lady Gaga goes back to where she belongs – the spotlight.

Becoming a staple name in the musical industry might’ve not happened overnight, but we’re glad that Lady Gaga is the amongst the first musicians and actresses to be nominated for Actress in a Leading Role and for best Original Song titled “Shallow.”

Whether she is known for her infamous meat dress or her amazing on-screen performances, Lady Gaga is exactly what the industry needs on this rocky road to eradicate gender gaps.

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Oliva Colman’s lead performance in The Favourite showed us that just when we thought she couldn’t push her acting limits any further, we get a pleasant surprise by her uproarious performance.

We watch her on-screen as she portrays the injured Queen Anne of Britain in this 18th century dramatic comedy alongside an A-list celebrity cast, including Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

With lots of wigs, clavichords, gorgeous gowns, corsets and antique-everything, The Favourite follows the dramatic love story of the Duchess of Marlborough, Sarah, who competes against the Baroness of Masham, Abigail in the quest for the monarch's attention.

However, Olivia Colman’s rendition of the Queen is hilarious recreated, but she also manages to portray an injured queen, full of sadness and emotional manipulation despite the humorous undertones.

Unable to move around, Colman is physically transported throughout the entire film, which only added to her challenge to portray the character’s immobility.

This lack of independency turns her character into a self-hating, anxiety-filled and rageful queen who despises when people are having a good time. 

Her role of Queen Anne might be a serious one in the dramatic storyline in The Favourite but her comedic background helps lighten the persona that Colman is portraying in the Oscar nominated movie.

Had she been serious and bland, the audience would have lost interest in the entire plot from the gecko.

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me (available on OSN Store)

Fans around the world are calling Melissa McCarthy’s performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me refreshing because she’s not just a jokester…she is truly capable of so much emotion and rawness, which is portrayed in this Oscar nominated movie.

Melissa McCarthy is mostly known for her on-screen comedic work, constantly playing the goofy character or the supporting actress in a comedy title – but never before has she portrayed such a serious character with deep internal conflicts.

As she plays a celebrity biographer who realized that no matter how great her work can be, she is still finding it harder and harder to get her work published…everyone’s been hit by a tough time in their life, so her situation becomes relatable for men and women alike.

Turning to the next best thing that she knows how to do, a simple deceitful change in the history of a celebrity gets her work featured in the spotlight. Gaining the popularity and recognition she thought she desired, her choice to use deceit as a ticket to fame ends up being her demise.

This emotional character is played phenomenally by McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me and fans are all for this new and dramatic version of the 48-year-old American actress.

Her raw portrayal of struggle, success and failure only to pick herself back up again and have another shot at life might be an overdone theme, but her performance tugs at our own emotions as she rides the rollercoaster of life in the film.

Before we head off to our daily routines, let’s give these ladies and all the other actresses a round of applause because they surpass milestones on day-to-day basis.

And before you go, don’t forget that you can root for these Oscar nominees and watch the Oscar 2019 LIVE on OSN Movies HD on February 25th at 4:00am KSA.

Join OSN today for the latest Oscar nominated movie hits, same times as the US, exclusive reality shows & so much more! 

Written by: Lara Obeidat
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