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Natalie Portman’s Oscar Cape Was Embroidered With the Names of Eight Female Directors the Academy Snubbed This Year

Natalie Portman on the red carpet. She is wearing a black cape with names written on it in gold.
Who are you wearing? Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Red carpet fashions always make a statement, but some of those statements are easier to read than others. Natalie Portman’s statement this year was written in big, shiny, gold letters, so no one could miss it. Her gown was embroidered with the last names of women who directed movies this year, none of whom were nominated for Best Director. “I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year, in my subtle way,” Portman said on the red carpet.


It’s not the first time Portman has called out awards race sexism: in 2018, while presenting the Golden Globe for Best Director, Portman said, “Here are the all-male nominees.” But that speech didn’t come with a syllabus. Here are the directors Portman honored, and the movies they directed this year:

• Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers
• Lulu Wang, The Farewell
• Greta Gerwig, Little Women
• Mati Diop, Atlantics
• Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
• Melina Matsoukas, Queen & Slim
• Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
• Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Whether you share Portman’s anger at the Academy overlooking so much great work this year, or aren’t too worried about it (presumably because you didn’t see any of these movies), Portman has laid out a pretty good alternative guide to the year in film. Happy viewing!

Read more in Slate about the Oscars.