WEEK IN WOMEN: Women achieve historic wins at 2021 Academy Awards – Brandy McDonnell reports

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At the 2021 Academy Awards ceremonies, women earned a record 17 trophies, the most in Oscar history. Considering the ceremony awarded 30 male winners, that means women received 36% of the statuettes awarded in the 23 competitive categories.

Compare that to 2020, when a third of the 39 winners were women, and 2019, when 15 of the 54 winners were women, which is 27.8%.

It stands to reason that more female winners comes from more female nominees and that was certainly the case in 2021. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year nominated a record 70 women with a total of 76 Oscar nominations, the highest total ever. According to TheWrap, 76 of the 235 individual nominees across all 23 competitive categories from this year’s films were women, or about 23%.

For the first time, the Academy this year nominated two women in the directing category, with Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao and Promising Young Woman‘s Emerald Fennell picking up nods in the coveted category. Zhao won the category, becoming just the second woman (after The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow) and the first woman of color to garner the best director Oscar. Nomadland also won best picture and best actress for Frances McDormand, who has now won the category three times in her career.

If McDormand wins best actress again during her career, she will tie with the late Katharine Hepburn, who has the most wins with four in the category.

Fennell earned best original screenplay for Promising Young Woman. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.