Last week began what might be a difficult award season for Little Women. While Saoirse Ronan got a best dramatic actress nod from the Golden Globes, the upcoming Greta Gerwig adaptation was totally shut out of the Screen Actors Guild awards, and with Oscar voting opening on January 2, the future of the film's much-deserved accolades isn't guaranteed, and there's a simple, frustrating reason: Hardly any men are showing up to watch it.
According to Vanity Fair, the RSVPs for early screenings of the film in October were made up of two times more women than men, which suggests that the disparity among Oscar voters could be just as stark.
"It’s a completely unconscious bias. I don’t think it’s anything like a malicious rejection," producer Amy Pascal told the outlet. "I don’t think that [men] came to the screenings in droves, let me put it that way, and I’m not sure when they got their [screener] DVDs that they watched them."
Despite her Globe nod, Ronan was still frustrated by Gerwig's absence from the best director nominations, and made sure to give the creator props in her statement.
"I am eternally grateful to Greta Gerwig for her guidance and partnership, and for her fierce perseverance that brought this incredible cast together and created an environment for us to become a real family and tell this very special story," she wrote. "My performance in this film belongs to Greta as much as it does myself and I share this recognition completely with her."
The lack of recognition for Gerwig is intertwined with the lack of attention given to the film by by people of all genders. The obvious but most disappointing explanation is that due to the gender of cast, director, and title, Little Women has been written off as a movie only for women. Actor Tracy Letts, who plays Mr. Dashwood in the film, finds that understandably exhausting.
"I just can’t believe we’re still having this fucking discussion where movies by men, and about men, and for men are considered default movies. And women’s movies fall into this separate and unequal category,” he told VF. “It’s absurd.”
The good news is the film hasn't officially been released yet, so there's still time reroute the course and get Little Women the Oscar noms it deserves. So basically, if you're a male of sound mind and body, it's your patriotic duty to see Little Women in theaters this Christmas — and if you're an Oscar voter, even more so.