Steven Spielberg has predicted at least one woman will be nominated for a Best Director Oscar this year.

'The Post' filmmaker was responding to Natalie Portman's dig at the Golden Globe Awards 2018 when she introduced the Best Director category by saying, ''Here are all the male nominees.''

Spielberg, 71, declared there was a ''watershed'' moment happening in Hollywood as he tipped Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins for a Best Director nod at the Academy Awards next month.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''There's also a watershed happening right now, slowly, maybe not fast enough, for women directors. I mean you have Patty Jenkins. We have some amazing women that have come forward, you know [Dee Rees'] 'Mudbound 'and [Greta Gerwig's] '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.''

Though 'Wonder Woman', 'Mudbound' and 'Lady Bird' have been nominated and won awards in other categories, they are yet to be recognised for their female directors at any of the major awards ceremonies this year, including the recently announced BAFTA nominations.

Filmmaker Patty said of Natalie's Golden Globes dig: ''What could you say? It made me laugh, and it made me smile.

''Look, it's been a little glaring that women directors don't get nominated so often and it is odd. Particularly when their films are being celebrated in every other way, so I thought it was interesting to highlight it. And what a difficult category to present without saying something about it, so she did it so perfectly.''

Katherine Bigelow was the first woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Director for 'The Hurt Locker' in 2010. She was only the fourth woman to be nominated in the category since the awards began in 1929 and no woman has been nominated since.