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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? London Road

Where Are the Women? London Road

In a portrait of a community impacted by a terrible crime, girls and women have as much of a presence as they do in reality.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10

+10
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: +6

+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]

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)

This is a true story about how the murder of five prostitutes horrifies a community and brings it together… with the exception of the other prostitutes in the area. A key sequence in the film examines how these women feel about the murders and the community’s reaction to them, giving voice to women who are poor, desperate, and not typically heard, and in the actual words of real women.

TOTAL SCORE: +21

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

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Alecky Blythe) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: In a portrait of a community impacted by a terrible crime, girls and women have as much of a presence as they do in reality, as ordinary citizens and in positions of authority. This movie offers an accurate reflection of women’s roles in the life of a town, including how they are often the ones who hold it together… and often how they are the ones excluded from it.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of London Road! 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 London Road.

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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