Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Greta Gerwig) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Two major female characters, both flawed and complicated people, on a journey of self-discovery that has nothing to do with romance or having babies. This would score even better if two female supporting characters weren’t solely defined as a mother and a girlfriend. But this is still a hugely positive step in the right direction. More movies like this one would naturally obviate the problem of women being primarily defined as adjuncts to men or children.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Mistress America! 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 Mistress America.