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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Nightcrawler

WATWnightcrawler

Rene Russo’s smart, aggressive TV news director is fantastically complex, though she is in several ways entirely at the mercy of the male protagonist.

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: +6

+5
Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]


+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-10
Is there a female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story? [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: +6

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: The film would have had a better showing if only the smart, aggressive, and competent TV news director character played by Rene Russo wasn’t in several ways entirely at the mercy of the male protagonist in a way that a male character never would have been.


Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

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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where are the women

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