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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Unfinished Business

WATWunfinishedbusiness

Almost everything that is wrong about how women are depicted by Hollywood, collected in one ugly movie.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -20

-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]


-10
Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +12

+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]


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

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -35

-5
Is a woman or women used as decorative objects/set dressing? [why this matters]
-20
Is this a major recurring visual motif? [why this matters]
-5
Does this include breasts bouncing in slo-mo? [why this matters]
-5
Are the breasts bare? [why this matters]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-5
Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [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]

WILDCARD SCORE: -10

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

-5
A scene set in a unisex sauna appears to be nothing more than an excuse to get some bare breasts onscreen while avoiding any graphic male nudity.


-5
A scene set in a gay club reinforces the clichéd notion that while female nudity is intended to be titillating, male nudity is intended only to be comic. Additionally, the male nudity consists solely of disembodied penises (poking out of “glory holes”), so male nudity is also rendered anonymous, while the female nudity here is not.

TOTAL SCORE: -63

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Almost everything that is wrong about how women are depicted by Hollywood, collected in one ugly movie.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Unfinished Business! 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 Unfinished Business.

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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where are the women

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