There are a smattering of films directed by women at the Toronto Film Festival, which began yesterday. The New York Times declares: "Women have staked a claim on the season." Women & Hollywood counters: "Newsflash: Women can direct movies!"
It's not just Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama's flick Jennifer's Body that has people talking. There's Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion, (known for The Piano). Lone Scherfig directed An Education, an "offbeat romance," starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan. Niki Caro, director of Whale Rider, is back with her latest film, The Vinter's Luck. (I've read the book, which is quite good.) Plus, Drew Barrymore will screen her rollerderby romp, Whip It.
As Melissa Silverstein of Women & Hollywood writes, "The coming of age for young men is so common and finally we are starting to pay attention to young women. FINALLY."
In 2003, Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation screened at the Toronto Film Festival and ended up getting a best director Oscar nomination. As the Times' Michael Cieply notes: "She is one of only three women ever to earn that distinction, the others being Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties and Jane Campion for The Piano."
Will any films directed by women end up with Oscar nods? Time will tell. But Women & Hollywood is tracking 2009's "Women-Centric Films," and from Precious to Coco Before Chanel to The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee and many, many more — so if there are no nominations, it certainly won't be for a lack of projects.