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? Yes (Keiko Niwa) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: This isn’t just a story about a girl, which is rare enough. It’s a story about a girl dealing with the sort of identity issues that hit all kids in early adolescence — who am I? where do I come from? where do I belong? — but that movies have mostly pretended girls don’t suffer from. Boys see other boys onscreen all the time coping with similar problems, which gives them at least a hint of a path through them. Girls need more movies like this one, so that they can have the same reassurance that it’s normal and survivable. Of course, this film had only a small arthouse release, so hardly any girls would have gotten to see it.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of When Marnie Was There! 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 When Marnie Was There.