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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? the 2015 Oscar-nominated films ranked

A ranking the 2015 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.)

Go here for a visual breakdown of this data.

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 2014 Oscars (awarded in early 2015)

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


KEY:
[ F ] = film has a female protagonist
[ Fe ] = film has an ensemble that is predominantly or entirely female
[ f ] = film has a female coprotagonist alongside a male coprotagonist
[ e ] = film has an ensemble with no clear protagonist that is reasonably gender balanced

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

+39
Inside Out [ F ]
+26
Carol [ F ]
+25
+25
+24
Brooklyn [ F ]
+21
Room [ f ]
+20
45 Years [ F ]
+16
Joy [ F ]
+6
+6
+5
-5
-8
-11
-11
-14
-15
-15
-16
-25
-25
-65
-80

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

+39
Inside Out [ F ]
+21
Room [ f ]
+6
-8
-11
-14
-15

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), mostly female ensemble (FE), male and female coprotagonists (MP/FP), mixed-gender ensemble (E), or one or more male protagonists (MP).

FP
“Body Team 12”
FP
“Day One”
FP
“World of Tomorrow”
FE
“Ave Maria”
MP/FP
“Everything Will Be Okay”
E
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
MP
“Bear Story”
MP
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
MP
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
MP
“Last Day of Freedom”
MP
“Prologue”
MP
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
MP
“Shok”
MP
“Stutterer”
MP
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”

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


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where are the women

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