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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Madame Bovary

Where Are the Women? Madame Bovary

Women are not automatically fulfilled by marriage? A movie set almost 200 years ago should not be more progressive in this respect than most set today.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25

+25
Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -15

-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]


-10
Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

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

No.

TOTAL SCORE: +10

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Sophie Barthes) (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Sophie Barthes) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: A movie that examines the notion that women are not automatically fulfilled by marriage? A movie set almost 200 years ago should not be more progressive in this respect than most set today.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Madame Bovary! 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 Madame Bovary.

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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