Portman was exactly right, of course - the five filmmakers up for the award were Guillermo del Toro, Martin McDonagh, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg. Can you spot it?
"And here are the all-male nominees", Portman quipped.
After Howard did the usual spiel to introduce the category, Portman said in a brilliant unscripted moment: "And here are the all-male nominees".
In a night that focused on women while having them absent from certain prestigious categories, her comment made sure to remind everyone about the disparity in opportunity between men and women when it comes to some of Hollywood's best and most visible jobs. Meanwhile, Portman's searing one-line indictment quickly became the talk of Twitter.
Many applauded the actress, who helped spearhead the Time's Up initiative calling attention to sexual misconduct, which Winfrey praised in her speech. Gerwig has received widespread recognition for directing her coming-of-age-film "Lady Bird", which at one point broke a Rotten Tomatoes record for 100 percent fresh ratings. "There are so many films out there that are so good directed by women".