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: -15
WILDCARD SCORE: -5
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
Every character in the film who is not the male protagonist or his female romantic interest is voiced by a single other actor… a man. There are good thematic reasons for this, but just as the film would not be fundamentally different if it had a female protagonist, it also would not be fundamentally different if all the other characters were voiced by a female actor.
TOTAL SCORE: -25
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: This film may be startlingly fresh and creative in its approach to storytelling, but the story it is telling is, at its root, one that we have seen so many times before that it is a cliché: that of a man’s midlife crisis over identity and the struggle between familiar, comfortable domesticity and the desire for novelty, one that puts women in no more than supporting roles to a man’s personal journey. An even fresher approach would have cast the protagonist as a woman, because women experience such crises as well, yet we almost never see them depicted onscreen.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Anomalisa! 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 Anomalisa.
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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