Another barrier broken?

Posted by · 6:12 am · March 3rd, 2011

Amid the barrage of critical brickbats tossed at Sunday night’s Oscar show — plus the widespread dissatisfaction with certain winners — I didn’t see much mention made of this particular milestone, but it strikes me as worthy of note, particularly a year after Kathryn Bigelow’s history-making Best Director win.

I’m happy to say that one other category is no longer an all-boys’ club: as part of the technically robust “Inception” team, Lora Hirschberg became the first woman (to my knowledge) to win an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing.

Hirschberg shared the award with colleagues Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick, with whom she also scored her first nod two years ago for “The Dark Knight.” (The Cinema Audio Society has been more generous to her over years: dating back to “The Horse Whisperer” in 1998, she has amassed six nominations, if no wins, from that group.)

Anyway, congratulations to Hirschberg. Knocking down that particular pin just leaves Best Animated Feature and Best Cinematography as the lone category in which no woman has yet claimed an Oscar. The situation is worse than that in the latter category: we’re still waiting to see a female cinematography nominee. Here’s hoping an Ellen Kuras or a Maryse Alberti can rectify that situation one of these days.

[Photo: People’s Daily Online]

→ 65 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

65 responses so far

  • 1 3-06-2011 at 4:54 pm

    Maxim said...

    Kel, I think that had a female or an African American or absolutely anyone written “The King’s Speech” they would have won an Oscar too.

  • 2 3-07-2011 at 8:13 am

    Kel said...

    Maxim, you’re probably right. However, they did not. a white guy did. so we will never know…and to be noted the only person to my knowledge who wasn’t technically”white” and nominated among the major categories was javier bardem

  • 3 3-07-2011 at 9:25 am

    Maxim said...

    It is quite unfortunate that (for the most part) the agreed upon divisions of race got passed down to us from the times when such things were the single most defining characteristic a person could have. It still plays a huge role but at those times the majority of people actually believe in discreet divisions between races. Can we just drop the whole thing along with the rest of the backwards 19th century social concepts?

    I firmly believe that racism and all forms of discrimination is the number one issue facing the world now and pretty much ever. And it is not only the single most solvable issue (in theory, not in practice) but is the most dihumanizing one as well. I always took offense to ALL of its forms because (in addition to the more obvious reasons) I consider any of its forms an insult to one’s own humanity. Talk about counterproductive. As such, I pity the racists and find them to be the single most uneducated, insecure and self-loathing bunch.

    In other words, we are stronger together and always were. No one lives off of CO2 and is allergic to carbon. Get over your bs.

  • 4 3-08-2011 at 4:20 am

    Irvin said...

    CORRECTION: Karen Baker Landers wasn’t the first woman to win for Sound Editing. At least one woman won before her and that’s Gloria S. Borders who won for “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”. I’m not 100% certain if she’s the only other one.

  • 5 3-08-2011 at 5:10 am

    Eddie said...

    Kay Rose won a Special Achievement Oscar in 1984 for her Sound Editing work on “The River.”

  • 6 3-09-2011 at 3:59 am

    Scott Coleman said...

    I think maxim needs to get out more, you sound like a right loser

  • 7 3-09-2011 at 1:21 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    Cecelia Hall won Best Sound Editing alongside George Watters II for The Hunt for Red October in 1990. The same year, Russell Williams II, a production sound mixer on Dances with Wolves became the first African American to win a second competitive Academy Award, having won in the same category the previous year for Glory.

  • 8 3-09-2011 at 1:47 pm

    Maxim said...

    Scott, I assure I get out plenty. Don’t compare my life to your own. If it’s morons like yourself who prompt me to make comments than I do it of my own free will.

    And that was entirely uncalled for. You’d get punched for this. But even on the web, you wouldn’t want me to say what you sounded like. Sc@mb@g.

  • 9 3-10-2011 at 5:22 am

    JJ1 said...

    This goes out to Chad or whomever runs this kind of stuff:

    Much like the ‘Life Without Oscar’ threads that we had last year (fantastic!). Can we have a thread this year which highlights certain “races” through the YEARS.

    i.e., 1989 – Pfieffer vs. Tandy. How close was it? Pfeiffer won a brunt of the critics awards/GG. But Tandy was the industry pick as a veteran. Or … 1988, Sigourney vs. Foster and Sigourney vs. Geena Davis. What happened? How and why did Sigourney miss twice? Or … English Patient vs. Fargo. How did Citizen Kane lose? And why? etc etc etc .

    Can we have a thread like that through the years? Thanks! :)

  • 10 3-10-2011 at 7:02 pm

    kel said...

    two things about 127 Hours.
    1) did anyone notice the “!” motif in the rocks during the trailer?

    2) look at this britney spears music video for her film Crossroads. This song was written by Dido, who also wrote/performed 127 Hours’ ballad. It takes place in the exact same kind of rock formation featured in the latter film

  • 11 3-11-2011 at 8:14 am

    Frank Zweegers said...

    Gogo Inception, mindblowing movie. Nice to see it’s no longer an all-boys club as well :)

  • 12 3-11-2011 at 6:00 pm

    Sam C. said...

    Geez, I think InContention is is much need of a Cinajabber post !

  • 13 3-13-2011 at 4:51 pm

    Harry said...

    umm…time to update guys

  • 14 3-14-2011 at 7:29 am

    Hans said...


  • 15 4-04-2011 at 8:55 pm

    Alex said...

    Kel (comment #52): What do you mean by “the only person to my knowledge who wasn’t technically “white” and nominated among the major categories was javier bardem”??

    Javier Bardem is white. So is his wife, and over 90% of all Spaniards, since they are of European, and thus Caucasian, origin. (Spain has one of the largest immigrant populations in the world –some 12.2% of its 47 million inhabitants–, but even a majority of immigrants in Spain are white).

    I think you might be confusing “white” with “non-Hispanic white” (which is not a racial, but an ethnic category). Even so, the vast majority of Spaniards would not consider themselves ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’ (Hispanic/Latino means born in, or descendant of, Latin Americans who speak or spoke Spanish). In any case, they are most definitely white, so they (including Bardem) cannot possibly be ‘technically not white.’