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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Life

Where Are the Women? Life

There is no significant female presence here. Women make brief appearances as girlfriends, exes, and mother figures, but have little impact on the men.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -13

-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]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? (*in this case, an adult child) [why this matters]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [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: -13

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: There is no significant female presence in this film. Women make brief appearances as girlfriends, exes, and mother figures, but even they have little impact and cannot get between men as they bond over life’s disappointments and frustrations.


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

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

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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