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: Women are almost entirely absent from this story, beyond a few brief single-scene appearances as figures of limited authority (in which their authority is shown as a sham or as something for men to divert around), as a supportive wife (in a very small role), and as decorative objects (and though the film treats it as a joke that women onscreen are typically depicted as decorative objects, these women are still primarily decorative). The story may be based on fact, but some of the major characters in the all-male main ensemble are composites of real people or almost wholly invented, so there’s no reason at all why at least one of them couldn’t have been written as female.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Big Short! 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 The Big Short.