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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Irrational Man

Where Are the Women? Irrational Man

A female coprotagonist alongside the central male character balances out supporting women who are little more than mothers and lovers.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10

+10
Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? (*in this case, an adult child) [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

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

No.

TOTAL SCORE: 0

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: A female coprotagonist — whose personal journey is as much intellectual as it is romantic — alongside the central male character balances out supporting women who are little more than mothers and lovers.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Irrational Man! 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 Irrational Man.

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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