This is not reassuring. Talented director and writer Kathryn Bigelow has been nominated for the Best Director Acadamy Award. In fact, the film for which she’s nominated got the same number of Oscar nominations as James Cameron’s Avatar. This is fantastic because she deserves it, because only three other women have ever had this nomination, and none of them won it. My fingers are crossed.
But there’s a problem. Bigelow was once married to Cameron. They divorced in 1991. And yet:
Or as the Associated Press’ David Germain put in the lead to his story:
The science-fiction sensation “Avatar” and the war-on-terror thriller “The Hurt Locker” lead the Academy Awards with nine nominations each, including best picture and director for James Cameron and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. [bold mine]
I get the sneaking suspicion I’m about to start having recurring dreams of Bigelow winning best director at the Oscars and the TV announcer declaring, ‘This is the first nomination in the category for James Cameron’s ex-wife.”
Does anyone think if this alleged journalist had submitted to his editor a line about “Kathryn Bigelow and ex-husband James Cameron”, the editor would have failed to notice, “Oh, dear God, that’s an insulting way to phrase that! I’m sure Mr. Cameron would be hurt to be thought of as just someone’s ex-husband.”
Kathryn Bigelow is very successful by any criteria – including Hollywood’s. She’s directed quite a few films that have won Oscars. Two of them were traditional blockbusters which made very good money: Strange Days and Point Break. K-19: The Widowmaker was one of those movies that really should have done well at the box office but didn’t – these things happen, but Bigelow hasn’t let it hold her back.
Kathryn Bigelow’s successes came after she divorced James Cameron. I don’t know much about Cameron as a human being, but somehow I think he would not be happy to see her referred to as his ex-wife rather than the successful director she has worked so hard to be. She’s been a director for thirty-one years. She was his wife for two.