Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
Wait, what? Are there virtually no female jazz students at the faux Juilliard school depicted in the film? That seems ludicrously unlikely.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Perhaps the most galling way in which this film pretends that women don’t exist except as adjuncts to men is in how it cannot even be bothered to pepper its music classrooms and competitions with female musicians. We glimpse a rare one in a few scenes, but in the world of this movie, women don’t seem to have any interest in music. Which is ridiculous.
J.K. Simmons’s putdowns of his (male) students by likening them to girls may be “traditional,” but that doesn’t mean they are acceptable.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Whiplash! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Whiplash.