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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Still Alice

WATWstillalice

Here we have a woman with a full, rich life and deeply troublesome problems that are uniquely her own.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25

+25
Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +11

+5
Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]


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


+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
+2
More than one? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

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: +36

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: This is the sort of representation of half the human race that we don’t see enough of onscreen: a woman who is a wife and a mother (nothing wrong with that!) but not as her defining characteristic. Here we have a woman with a full, rich life and deeply troublesome problems that are uniquely her own, and which she requires the support of others to muddle through.


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 Still Alice! 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 Still Alice.

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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