Byline: Charlotte O'Sullivan
WHETHER at glitzy US ceremonies or gritty European festivals, women directors seem finally to be moving away from the margins. Here are five females who have blazed a particularly bright trail over the past 12 months. Kathryn Bigelow, 58.
The ex-wife of chestthumping James Cameron now has reason of her own to crow. Her visceral, post-invasion Iraq war drama, The Hurt Locker, has picked up a string of prizes and is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It also earned her a nod in the Best Director category. Bigelow has been churning out hardboiled cult classics for years (Blue Steel, Point Break), but had less luck with bigger budgets. With The Hurt Locker, made for only $11 million, she has moved back into her comfort zone. Nora Ephron, 68. She's always had the common touch and excellent writing skills (Ephron won an Oscar for her Silkwood screenplay). With Julie & Julia, she creates another perfect role for Meryl Streep -- as French-food-loverturned-TV-chef Julia Childs -- and hits some perfect comic notes. "You have no talent," sniffs one of Childs's French detractors. "But the Americans will never know the difference." Jane Campion, 55.
Charlotte O'Sullivan …