Kathryn Bigelow made history nearly four years ago by becoming the first woman to ever win an Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker, a.k.a., the movie that made Jeremy Renner a big name star, so you have her to thank for that as well, Avengers fans. Yesterday she made history again by becoming the first woman to win multiple directing awards from the New York Film Critics Circle over its seventy-seven year history, putting her in a group with fifteen other male filmmakers.
2009 was a good year for the recognition of women for directing (or at least for the recognition of Kathryn Bigelow for directing). Of the many awards programs that handed their directing award to her for The Hurt Locker, five were handing it to a woman for the first time. For the New York Film Critics Circle, which announced its 2012 winners yesterday, she was their third. But as the NYFCC revealed, Bigelow has once again tapped by them as best director for her imminent release Zero Dark Thirty, an account of the U.S. government’s manhunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which makes her the first woman in history to win the award twice.
She joins the ranks of such two-time Critics Circle directing award winners as Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, and Mike Leigh. Six men have won the award three times, while only John Ford and Fred Zinneman have ever managed to grab a quartet of them. The other lady winners through history? The first was Jane Campion, whose 1993 win puts the NYFCC awards sixteen years ahead of the Oscars in women’s representation, and the feat was followed ten years later by Sofia Coppola.
Come on, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, make my… one evening in February.