Jane Campion just made Academy Awards history.
With this year’s nomination for Best Director for the Netflix psychological drama “The Power of the Dog,” she has become the first woman director to ever garner two nods in the Oscars category. She was previously nominated for Best Director for “The Piano” in 1994 (which she didn’t win, although she did take home an Oscar for the film’s screenplay).
“The Power of the Dog” is Campion’s first feature film in over a decade – and it almost didn’t get made. “I was actually thinking of retiring before I did this film,” she told The Guardian. “But then I thought, ‘Oh man, this is gonna be a big one.’ I’d read the book and loved it and afterwards I just kept thinking about it.”
The New Zealand filmmaker added, “When I made a move to find out who had the rights, that’s when I knew it had got me. I needed to do it.” Good thing she followed through.
Campion has already won numerous awards for “The Power of the Dog” this awards season, including a Golden Globe and a directing distinction at the most recent Venice Film Festival.
Only seven women have ever been nominated for Best Director Oscars overall. Two have won: Kathryn Bigelow for “Hurt Locker” in 2009 and Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” in 2021. In contrast, male directors have been nominated many times over – among those still living, Martin Scorcese has received 9 nods, and Steven Spielberg has been nominated 8 times.
Academy Award winners will be announced March 27.