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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Face of an Angel

WATWfaceangel

As is very often the case, a story that is ostensibly about a woman ends up being all about how a man feels about her.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-10
Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +6

+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]


-5
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

WILDCARD SCORE: -5

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

The male protagonist spends a lot of time obsessing over (to himself) and complaining about (to other people) his ex-parter and the mother of his child, who cheated on him with the man she is now with. Though she’s not a character in the story, her presence is felt… but only through how she wronged him sexually.

TOTAL SCORE: -9

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: As is very often the case, a story that is ostensibly about a woman — more than one woman, in fact: a woman who is murdered and the woman who is accused of the crime — ends up being all about how a man feels about her.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Face of an Angel! 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 Face of an Angel.

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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