Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
Is there a woman who is kidnapped (either onscreen or off) whose kidnap motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:-5
Is there a female character with significant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do? [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)
After making a big deal out of how playing the manipulative “femme fatale” is not her thing, the supporting female character — the only woman with any speaking lines in the movie — ends up becoming one anyway.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Par for the Hollywood course: a woman plays second fiddle to a man… until he decides that he is ready to claim her as his prize.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Focus! 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 Focus.