Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
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? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Helen Mirren makes a very fine villain indeed. And wielding a villainy that is not gendered! But all the other woman in the story are nothing more than supportive adjuncts to the male protagonist, from the saintly wife who stands by him to the daughter who is inspired by him. If only it could have avoided the occasional usage of women as decorative objects, it would at least have scored a neutral zero.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Trumbo! 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 Trumbo.