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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

WATWhobbitfivearmies

Peter Jackson would have been better off, if he was worried about how women are represented on film, just leaving his Hobbit female-free.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +1

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -13

-5
Is there a female character whose primary goal is romantic (to get married, enter into a longterm relationship with a man, etc)? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: -12

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, two of four credited (Fran Walsh and
Philippa Boyens) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Peter Jackson would have been better off, if he was worried about how women are represented on film, just leaving his Hobbit female-free. It doesn’t help things when — apart from a minimal appearance by Galadriel in her position of authority as an elven ruler and wielder of magical power — all his invented women (Tauriel and Bard’s daughters) exist in the story only to be rescued by a boy or a man, torn romantically between two men, or, in Tauriel’s case, both. These aren’t the sort of favors women need from filmmakers.


Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! 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 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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posted in:
where are the women
  • PhillyJimi

    Where are the disabled Asians? Or the mentally challenged? The obese?
    How about reading the book. There aren’t any women in the book. I mean what is next a movie about a female Jesus?

  • Bob

    You do know it’s based on a book with 0 women?

  • Churchill4President

    Where are the black people? Where are the Asian people? Where are the aliens? Where are the left-handed people? Where are the red headed people?

    Does it ever end for you social justice warriors? Really. Grow up. Get a life and stop complaining.

  • Eric Porter

    What a prejudice thing to do…only considering how women are represented.

  • Danielm80

    She’s looking at the way men are represented and the way men are represented and pointing out the differences between the two.

  • Oh boo! Sob! Won’t someone think about how men are represented onscreen?! They only totally dominate the medium both in front of and behind the screen and already get the full spectrum of possible representation! Could matters possibly be worse for them?!

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I bet you thought you were super clever when you came up with that, typed it out, and even clicked “Post”, all by yourself. You truly are a big boy now!

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