BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +1
THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -10
GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5
WILDCARD SCORE: +10
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
TOTAL SCORE: +21
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Marielle Heller) (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Marielle Heller) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: In many ways, this film defies the visual clichés with which girls and women are treated onscreen by taking the tropes of the exploitation of women and turning them into expressions of a woman’s ownership of herself and her sexuality. And narratively, it trashes, both overtly and implicitly, recurrent notions about the “appropriate” places for women (at a man’s side; on her knees in front of him) and reclaims those decisions as more properly belonging to a woman herself.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Diary of a Teenage 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 The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
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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