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]
Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself? [why this matters]
Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
Is he rebuked for it, either directly (by a character onscreen) or indirectly (by how it is depicted)? [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? Yes (Gillian Flynn) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: With its faux feminist female villain who wreaks sexualized rage on men, this is a very regressive and limited view of a woman’s power in our culture, one that a smart and capable female cop cannot balance out, because even she is undercut by a fantasy of what women are “supposed” to be.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Gone Girl! 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 Gone Girl.