BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0
[no significant representation of women in authority]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -5
GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0
WILDCARD SCORE: -6
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
TOTAL SCORE: -11
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Lucinda Coxon) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: On the surface, this would appear to be a great film for female representation: It’s about a transgender woman, and how often do we see that? Unfortunately, that woman is portrayed onscreen by a man. Combined with the film’s notion that being a woman is apparently all about wearing the “right” sort of clothes and being the “correct” sort of demure, this becomes little more than a showcase for a male actor to show off his range and be “brave.” Additionally, the most potentially interesting female character here is rendered as little more than the clichéd saintly, supportive wife. For a film about a person who defied societal norms, it relies on the standard Hollywood formula that doesn’t much care for women as real people. Either this film doesn’t really understand what being a woman means, or it doesn’t understand the women onscreen.
Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.
Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Danish 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 Danish 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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