Jane Campion now first woman with two Best Director Oscar nominations

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Jane Campion has entered the Oscars history books following the 2022 nominations, as the New Zealand helmer is now the first woman filmmaker to boast two career nominations in the best director category.

Campion is nominated for directing this year thanks to her acclaimed work on the Netflix-backed “The Power of the Dog,” which also won her the directing prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival and nabbed her a nomination at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Campion’s first Oscar nomination for directing came in 1994 when she was nominated for “The Piano” at the 66th Academy Awards. She won the Oscar for original screenplay that year.

“It’s both sad but it’s also great that women are punching that glass ceiling out of the way. I really feel things are changing,” Campion told Variety of her directing nomination. “I’ve been in the industry a long time now, and it’s very different today than it was when I first started. The brave women from the #MeToo movement that began it all with their revelations about the systemic abuse within the industry has woken everybody up and committed people, men and women, to wanting equality. We’re not there yet. But, I would say that it’s the end of apartheid for [the] industry when it comes to gender.”

In addition to directing, “The Power of the Dog” picked up several Oscar nominations this year in categories such as best picture, actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, supporting actress for Kristen Dunst, supporting actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee and Jesse Plemons, adapted screenplay, editing, score and cinematography. Ari Wegner, the film’s director of photography, is now just the second woman nominated at the Oscars in the cinematography category.

Campion is nominated in the 2022 Oscars directing category opposite Steven Spielberg for “West Side Story,” Kenneth Branagh for “Belfast,” Paul Thomas Anderson for “Licorice Pizza” and Ryusuke Hamaguchi for “Drive My Car.”

Only seven women have been Oscar nominated for best director: Lina Wertmüller for “Seven Beauties,” Campion for “The Piano” and “The Power of the Dog,” Sofia Coppola for “Lost in Translation,” Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker,” Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird,” Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” Bigelow and Zhao are the only two winners. The year both Zhao and Fennell earned nominations marked the first time in Oscars history that two female filmmakers competed for best director.

“The Power of the Dog” is Campion’s adaptation of the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a sadistic rancher who meddles with his brother’s new wife (Dunst) and her sensitive son (McPhee). The drama is now streaming on Netflix.

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