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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Big Significant Things

Where Are the Women? Big Significant Things

The most significant female character here is the male protagonist’s girlfriend, who “appears” only as a voice on the phone in a faraway city.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-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]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-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: 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: -15

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: The most significant female character here is the male protagonist’s girlfriend, who “appears” only as a voice on the phone in a faraway city, a nebulous goal that he is deciding whether to pursue or not. Though we don’t know much about the male protagonist, we know even less about her: she is not a person but an object, a life milestone for a man.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Big Significant Things! 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 Big Significant Things.

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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