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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Revenant

Where Are the Women? The Revenant

Apart from motivating visions of the male protagonist’s dead wife and a kidnapped and raped woman for him to rescue, women are absent from this film.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a woman who is raped (either onscreen or off) whose rape motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

WILDCARD SCORE: -3

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

Similar to the “dead mother” issue [why this is a problem], here we have the dead wife of the male protagonist, who is almost a manic pixie dead spouse is how her memory — which manifests in his dreams and visions — motivates him to survive his physical and psychological ordeal.

TOTAL SCORE: -8

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Apart from motivating visions of the male protagonist’s dead wife and a kidnapped and raped woman for him to rescue, women are entirely absent from this film.


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

Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

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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