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Steven Spielberg Responds to Natalie Portman’s Best Director Burn With Some Oscar Suggestions

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Steven Spielberg has a few female nominee suggestions for the Academy to consider for Best Director at this year’s Oscars.

When asked about Natalie Portman’s apparent jab at the Golden Globes’ all-male field of Best Director candidates, Spielberg was quick to name a few women he thinks are deserving of the Oscar equivalent, including Mudbound’s Dee Rees and Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig.

“There’s also a watershed happening right now, slowly, maybe not fast enough, for women directors,” he told Entertainment Tonight at Tuesday’s National Board of Review Awards. “I mean you have Patty Jenkins. We have some amazing women that have come forward, you know Mudbound and Lady Bird. This is a pretty incredible year, and I think you’ll be seeing some nominations. I’m predicting at the Oscars this year for a woman director, if not several.”

Portman was applauded by many for seeming to call out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association while presenting the award for Best Director at Sunday’s Globes ceremony. “And here are the all-male nominees,” she deadpanned to a cheering audience.

Spielberg was nominated in the category for his work on The Post, but ultimately lost out to The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com