Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself? [why this matters]
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE:-14
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]
Is there more than one woman who is kidnapped and/or raped and/or killed in order to motivate a male protagonist? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
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 movie except as mute murder victims and as a female adjunct to the male protagonist who is so generic that I could not even tell — until a “where are they now” note at the end cleared it up — whether she was supposed to be a romantic partner or a sister. She could have been either, which is a damning example of how insipid such supporting female characters typically are.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of True Story! 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 True Story.