Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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)
While there isn’t quite a hooker with a heart of gold [why this matters], there is a prostitute character who is present solely so that she can be contrasted with a “decent” woman, as a warning to that decent woman of the fate that awaits her — infamy and disgrace — if she steps out of line.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: A grieving mother in denial about her loss. A grieving wife in denial about her loss. But only a man sees clearly enough to do something about it. So of course, this is his story, not theirs. The grief of women isn’t their own: it is a prompt to kick a man into action.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Water Diviner! 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 Water Diviner.