2023: The Year of Women in Film

The Year of Women in Film

Photo taken from Unsplash

Controversy struck once news broke Ryan Gosling was up for an Oscar nomination

Controversy struck, once news broke Ryan Gosling was up for an Oscar nomination following his supporting role as Ken in the “Barbie” movie, while his female counterparts, lead Margot Robbie, and director, Greta Gerwig were not. Fans on the internet were quick to point out the irony of the snub. 

The fictional world of Barbie, where women rule, and men… well men drool. That is until of course, Ken's discovery of the patriarchy threatens to collapse the very existence of Barbie land. Sound familiar? 

Despite his nomination and the film's eight nominations, Gosling was quick to call out the Oscars for their decision to exclude Gerwig and Robbie. 

“But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film,” Gosling said. 

In light of this dissension, let’s take a minute to celebrate the achievements of women in film in 2023. 

While Gerwig and Robbie may not have been nominated for the Oscars, Actress Lily Gladstone was. She was nominated for her role in “Flowers of the Killer Moon.” This made her the first-ever Native American to be nominated for best actress (BBC). Gladstone, who has already made history as the first person of Indigenous descent to take home a Golden Globe, will be up against Oscar nominee Emma Stone for her role in “Poor Things.” 

“The Killers of the Flower Moon” follows the true story of the horrors the Osage tribe faced in the 1920s at the hands of white settlers. Members of the Osage tribe had great wealth due to their ownership of oil-rich lands in Oklahoma. The story follows a group of white men, who are in pursuit of a hefty inheritance, devise a plan to marry and later murder members of the tribe. Gladstone played the role of Mollie Kyle, one of the Osage women who were targets of such attacks. 

Gladstone, who has taken strives for not only women, but the Native American community as well, commented on the changes of the film industry. 

“Times are changing; people's perspectives are broadening. The Academy has gotten much more diverse in the last 10 to 20 years. I think it's also because Native and Indigenous filmmakers have been continually blowing audiences away with what we've been making… people are ready,” Gladstone said (BBC)

Furthemore, in the year 2023, it is difficult to talk about women and their achievements without the mention of Taylor Swift. Swift appears to be dominating many different industries outside her own, including film. 

The Era’s tour film, which was released in October 2023 following her sold-out Eras tour, grossed $250 million worldwide at the box office, two months after its release (Screen Rant). The only concert film to suppress this total is Michael Jackson, “This Is It," which was released following his death in 2009, and grossed $260 worldwide (Screen Rant)

Swift also has made appearances on the highest-rated show on Television, the NFL. Although Swift may not be the one performing, her presence alone has boosted ratings. A Bills and Chiefs game became the most watched playoff game in history after it amassed 50 million viewers as swifties around the globe tuned in to see the star on the sidelines cheering on her boyfriend Travis Kelce (CNN)

Other honorable mentions include Halle Bailey, the second black actor in history to be cast as a Disney princess, and Eva Longoria, director of “Flaming Hot" which became the most-watched streaming premiere in history on Netflix and Hulu (Elle) 

As we reflect on the accomplishments from women in the previous year, we can anticipate as we head into 2024 our favorite women in film, whomever that may be, will continue to break barriers. Our job as viewers is to recognize these achievements and celebrate all that women do for film.