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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? the 2014 Oscar-nominated films ranked

A ranking the 2014 Oscar-nominated films for their representation of girls and women. These are not “reviews” of the films! These are simply examinations of how well or how poorly they depict girls and 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. My reviews are linked from each rating page.)

See the rating criteria.

See also:

• the ranking of 270 films released in 2015 in the US, Canada, and the UK, in both limited and wide release (including every wide-release North American film and most of the UK wide-release films), with links to each individual film’s rating
• the ranking of all films nominated for the 2015 Oscars (awarded in early 2016)

I crunched numbers on the 153 films that opened in wide release in the United States between December 25, 2014, and December 18, 2015. Get an introduction to this analysis here. You can examine a comprehensive spreadsheet of the details about these 153 films here.

Conclusions:

only 22% of 2015’s movies had female protagonists
best and worst representations of women on film in 2015 (and the average WATW score for the year)
critics are slightly more likely to rate a film highly if it represents women well
mainstream moviegoers are not turned off by films with female protagonists
movies that represent women well are just as likely to be profitable as movies that don’t, and are less risky as business propositions


The films nominated for Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, Best Director, and in the four acting and two writing categories.

+36
+29
+29
+25
+15
+10
+8
+7
+6
+5
0
-5
-5
-10
-15
-19
-28
-35
-35
-38
-48
-59

The films that won Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, Best Director, and in the four acting and two writing categories.

+36
+8
+5
0
-5
-15
-28

Since my rating criteria were developed for feature films to examine the feature-film ecosystem, and shorts are another matter entirely, I am here noting only whether a nominated short has a female protagonist (FP), a male protagonist (MP), male and female coprotagonists (MP/FP), or a mixed-gender ensemble (E).

FP
“Aya”
FP
“Joanna”
FP
“Me and My Moulton”
FP
“Parvaneh”
FP
“The Phone Call”
FP
“A Single Life”
MP/FP
“Our Curse”
E
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press One”
E
“White Earth”
MP
“The Bigger Picture”
MP
“Boogaloo and Graham”
MP
“Butter Lamp”
MP
“The Dam Keeper”
MP
“Feast”
MP
“The Reaper”

This ranking is brought to you without paywall restrictions by my generous Kickstarter supporters. If you missed out on the Kickstarter and would like to support this project, you may:

become a monthly or yearly subscriber of FlickFilospher.com
make a pledge at Patreon
• make a donation via Paypal


posted in:
where are the women
  • Min

    No Still Alice? It was one of the few movies I saw to pass that low bar (that seems to be uncommonly difficult for films to make it over) called the Bechdel Test….

  • Danielm80

    It’s listed above under “Ratings to come for….”

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