Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
Is a woman paired romantically with a man old enough to be her father? [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: It’s rare that a film makes it this explicit — this much a part of the actual text — that women are little more than supporting characters in a man’s story. One woman actually says, when asked how she knows a man (who turns out to be her husband), “We share a vagina,” as if it belongs as much to him as it does to her.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Birdman! 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 Birdman.