BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +4
THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0
GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5
WILDCARD SCORE: +2
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
In a nice reversal of a standard trope, Judi Dench (age 81) is romantically paired with Bill Nighy (age 66), 15 years her junior, and this is not commented upon in any way by the story or its presentation, in either the text or the subtext.
TOTAL SCORE: +11
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: With lots of female characters living full, rich lives, this movie offers a rare well-rounded depiction of women as individuals, not as types or clichés. Even when they (sometimes) engage in the traditional filmic female pursuit of chasing romance, this is almost radical, because they are depicted as vital, sexual, and desirable and desiring even into their 70s and 80s.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Second Best Exotic Marigold 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 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)