[no significant representation of women in authority]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:-5
Is there a female character with significant screen time who bares her breasts (but doesn’t appear fully nude)? [why this matters]
Is there a female character whose primary goal is romantic (to get married, enter into a longterm relationship with a man, etc)? [why this matters]
Is the object or potential object of her affection and attraction a woman or women? [why this matters]
Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
Is he rebuked for it, either directly (by a character onscreen) or indirectly (by how it is depicted)? [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)
The story is overtly about the price that women pay for defying the restrictions placed upon them by men and by the culture at large, and what it takes to be brave in the face of this.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Phyllis Nagy) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: A story about two women trying to carve out places for themselves in a world that refuses to acknowledge their needs as valid is perhaps the very definition of a feminist film. That it is also a story of their romance is a bonus: mainstream films about lesbians are extraordinarily rare.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Carol! 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 Carol.