Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
Is he rebuked for it, either directly (by a character onscreen) or indirectly (by how it is depicted)? [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)
In the full rating criteria, I have an accommodation for a film in which a women appears fully nude… but so does a man. It allows for the latter to almost entirely balance out the former (read the explanation for why it doesn’t completely balance it out). I think that pointage works for this film, too, because even though Jennifer Lawrence is basically nude in her base Mystique form — the actress is covered by body paint and not much else — she is technically not nude; she is not shot in a gratuitous or salacious way, either. Plus, Hugh Jackman appears actually nude, though only from behind. It seems to me that director Bryan Singer is making an attempt to be equitable with his film’s nudity (even though we’re a long way from male nudity being on a par with female nudity onscreen).
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of three credited (Jane Goldman) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Jennifer Lawrence’s spectacular and complex antagonist and lots of female mutants — including Ellen Page’s, whose powers are absolutely essential to the plot — make for a respectable showing, particularly for a genre not typically friendly to women’s representation.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of X-Men: Days of Future Past! 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 X-Men: Days of Future Past.