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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

Where Are the Women? The Grand Budapest Hotel

WATWgrandbudapesthotel

If the work of any filmmaker would seem a natural fit for women in nontraditional roles, it’s Wes Anderson’s, so the lack here is extra disappointing.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -20

-10
Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]


-10
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: -10

-5
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-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]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [why this matters]
+3
Is a dead father also mentioned? [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: -35

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 rich old woman’s death sends two men on an odyssey, during which they are assisted by a young woman with almost supernatural powers (of pastry); once again, women with potentially interesting lives are mere supporting characters in men’s lives. If the work of any filmmaker would seem a natural fit for women in nontraditional roles, it’s Wes Anderson’s, so the lack here is extra disappointing. How much more capery, for instance, might this caper have been if the lobby “boy” was actually a girl in disguise?


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Grand Budapest Hotel! 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 The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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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