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]
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE:+4
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [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)
The female coprotagonist is a budding engineer who instinctively “knows how things work”… including motorcycles, computers, and other gear and tech. This isn’t at all unusual in the real world, but we hardly ever see teenaged girls (or adult women, for that matter) display such interest and aptitude onscreen in a way that is meant to be cool and positive, or, indeed, in any way at all.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: With a smart, competent, adventurous female coprotagonist and a fascinating little-girl supporting character — both roles that could have easily been played by male actors — this movie offers wonderful representation of young women of a type rarely seen in Hollywood films. In a fantastic reversal of the usual tropes, it is the male coprotagonist for whom romantic attachment forms a significant part of his story (and romance figures not at all for the female coprotagonist).
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Tomorrowland! 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 Tomorrowland.