This is, unfortunately, fitting with the history of the Golden Globes. It took until 1983 for a woman to be nominated, when Barbra Streisand won for Yentl. She remains the only woman to have actually won the award, though she was nominated again for 1991’s The Prince of Tides. The only other women to have been nominated for Best Director are Jane Campion (1993’s The Piano), Sofia Coppola (2003’s Lost in Translation), Kathryn Bigelow (2008’s The Hurt Locker and 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty), and Ava DuVernay (2014’s Selma).
There were certainly female directors to choose from this year. Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which earned Richard E. Grant a Best Supporting Actor nomination, was directed by Marielle Heller. Nicole Kidman earned a nomination for Destroyer (as Best Actress), but director Karyn Kusama did not. Mary Queen of Scots, which stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as warring 16th-century English royals, was directed by Josie Rourke with a “keenly feminist sensibility” (per EW critic Leah Greenblatt’s review), but was shut out of the nominations. Debra Granik, who helped launch Jennifer Lawrence into fame with her 2010 film Winter’s Bone, returned this year with Leave No Trace, but did not earn a nomination. Chloé Zhao’s The Rider recently won Best Feature at this year’s Gotham Awards, but was not nominated for any Globes.