Warning! Some of the details in the Score section may constitute minor spoilers for those not familiar with the story.
BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -20
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +6
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)
Those women in positions of authority? They could possibly, theoretically, have been played by men, but since the purpose of both of them — Uma Thurman’s restaurant critic and Emma Thompson’s therapist — is solely to, respectively, 1) underscore how damn irresistibly sexy the male protagonist is, and 2) provide motherly nurturing advice about how to be a better person, it is unlikely that men would have been cast.
TOTAL SCORE: -21
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 only woman with any significant presence here is Sienna Miller’s chef, but she quickly becomes little more than the target of the male protagonist’s emotional abuse and self-serving manipulations… all of which she is quickly okay with, before she actually falls in love with him and becomes an emotional and physical nursemaid ushering him from assholishness into a semblance of decent humanity. Any woman here with a speaking role is nothing more than saintly support for him, even when his behavior it at its very worst… including the little girl whose birthday he ruins by not allowing her mother (Miller) to have the day off to be with her. In fact, the worse the impact he had on their lives, the nicer they seem to be to him.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Burnt! 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 Burnt.
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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