Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[3]] Oblivion (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Vincent on 2013-04-14 19:12:17.

Reviews

Comments

Vincent said:
just in one short scene
Message posted on 2013-04-14 19:12:17
Schwinny said:
There are a number of interactions between Victoria and Sally and Victoria and Julia that help this movie pass the test. Many of the interactions are ultimately about Jack, but there are a few brief exchanges that are not about him. Sally and Victoria discuss drone status issues at various points. Victoria talks to Julia about how she is feeling and the effects of delta sleep. Interactions quickly revert to being Jack-centric but it is a pass.
Message posted on 2013-04-15 23:30:14
Victor said:
It passes, but wouldn't count the conversations between Victoria and Sally, because (SPOILER) Sally isn't a real person but rather the manipulative projection of, as far as we know, an entirely sexless, genderless being. Though the being from the Tet arguably is depicted as feminine, that gets us into a very grey area.
Message posted on 2013-04-19 07:38:44
aviatrix said:
Once certain characters were revealed to be "more than they seem", can you say that any interaction between Sally and Victoria are valid?

Further, Julia and Victoria didn't have a conversation. Julia could hardly speak, and when she did it was to Jack or general exclamations. At best, I think it passes 2 out of 3 tests.
Message posted on 2013-04-20 05:54:38
Johan said:
***Spoiler Alert***

Sally is not really a human so all interaction with her are disqualified. And I would really call the interaction between Julia and Victoria to be beyond "how are you?"
Message posted on 2013-04-20 06:17:23
maurice said:
Sally should definitely count even though she's a computer control character all of her interactions with Julia she's definitely playing a female character
Message posted on 2013-04-21 00:58:33
Kat said:
Failed. They had one "conversation" barely. Everything about their interaction was due to and because of the guy who got to swap wives with no consequence or appearance of remorse.
Message posted on 2013-04-22 03:57:29
ravine said:
Sally is not a human and the other conversations just barely pass on a technicality so I say this should be classified as a failure.
Message posted on 2013-04-22 04:17:16
Daniel Hofverberg said:
In my opinion, the movie does pass the test; but it is barely and with no great margin.

I agree that the conversations between Victoria and Sally probably can't be considered conversation between women, as Sally isn't really a real human being and should be considered genderless.

However, Victoria and Julia does have one conversation where they say a few sentences to each other which aren't directly related to Jack. It's not much, but it is more than just "How are you?" or similar pleasantries and has a content (although probably not more than 30 - 40 seconds).

So while the film is malecentric and does not have a great feministic perspective; it does pass the Bechdel test as written, although barely. At least in my opinion.
Message posted on 2013-04-23 01:07:17
maurice said:
OK people, Sally is the Female avatar of the TeT. she isnt a traditional female for sure, but in thier conversations, sally was portrayed as a human female, acted out by a human female. so pass. unless you people dont believe that because you arent "traditional"female, you dont count as female. that would be problematic
Message posted on 2013-04-23 06:46:48
Rob H said:
I suppose we're already deep into spoiler territory.

I agree it passes. Sally's an alien AI, but she is given a female gender even past the point where you see her true nature. We likely gender an AI like HAL as male, and Sally is a fairly similar character.
Message posted on 2013-04-27 05:16:53
Nyssa said:
spoilers?

What about the conversations they were having about the mission saved on the flight recorder?

Message posted on 2013-05-02 15:09:38
Tegiminis said:
There's also the important distinction that Victoria believes she is talking to another female human being for the majority of the movie, and that the Tet is still gendered female all the way until the movie's conclusion.

When Victoria is talking to Sally, she is under the impression that Sally is a human woman, and they interact as "human women," although never physically. As such, I think it counts as passing the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2013-05-05 09:03:17
dafydd said:
Passed on a technicality. Yes, two named women. Yes, conversation. Sort of, not about a man.

The test doesn't say anything about whether or not the women are truly women, or alive, or anything like that. However, the conversations between Julie and Sally do exclusively concern "the misssion," which almost always concerns the male field technician part of the team...
Message posted on 2013-05-16 05:13:13
Emmet said:
I'd call this a pass without the (dubious). Although one woman later turns out to be an AI, up until that point the other characters and the audience are meant to believe she is a woman. And in attempting to write a female character the scriptwriters have the majority of their interactions about the mission. OK the mission includes a male technician, but gender flip the technician and nothing in the mission conversations substantially changes. The subject matter is "techy has to fix drone" not another pathetic conversation about how wonderful/awful their man is, if he is cheating, does he do the housework, will he propose or his exasperating man-child habits.
Message posted on 2013-05-21 07:14:04
Adam said:
I saw the movie once granted, but for all the people who fell asleep before the ending, Sally is eventually shown to be a NASA mission leader, the Tet eventually mimics, and does in fact talk to both characters on their way to investigate the TeT, and it is mission related. Secondly I think it's bogus of anyone to not want to include the interaction between Victoria and Sally (AI) the vast majority of their dialog concerns drones, repairs, and technical information, only ending on "are you an effective team" hardly a prime example of Hollywood girl talk. even if Sally is an AI though most of the movies, the film takes Victoria seriously as a competent professional, and the film expects us to buy that she and one other person are capable of watching over a planet, towards the beginning of the film she even appears more capable than the lead.
Message posted on 2013-05-27 23:35:45
Evelyn said:
Sally's question: "Are you an effective team?" struck me as robot speak for "Let's dish about your fella." It was Sally's primary concern and had a very ominous tone, suggesting something bad would happen if the answer was "No." Every female interaction spoken or unspoken seemed to be about Jack. Victoria did not come off as human, only slightly more dimensional than an inflatable sex doll. She was interested in nothing but completing the mission and leaving with Jack.
Message posted on 2013-05-28 17:03:31
Victor said:
maurice said:
"unless you people dont believe that because you arent 'traditional' female, you dont count as female. that would be problematic"

That's not the issue at all. The issue is one of self-identification (or at least apparent self-identification), which is the only way to determine gender. I highly doubt that the TeT self-identified as female, no matter what projection it displays. Think about the X-Men films, for example. Mystique doesn't suddenly become a male character when she shape-shifts into a male form; she's just a female character in disguise. Likewise, the TeT doesn't suddenly gain a gender just because it chooses to disguise itself using a female form.

As for the people saying that the TeT itself is still gendered as feminine, I did not see what you saw. Having a feminine voice (just because it was still emulating Sally's voice) is simply not enough.
Message posted on 2013-06-03 18:47:28
catt said:
The interactions between Victoria and Sally were about work???? And about being stranded in space with Julia and Sally???
Message posted on 2013-07-14 16:32:05
47ness said:
I took the liberty of elaborating on the "conversation" between Victoria and Julia in comic form: h ttp://47ness.deviantart.com/art/Oblivion-Sucks-to-be-you-Vic-mild-spoilers-370608127 (remove the space between the first two letters)

Seriously, this movie was so male-centric, the writers kinda forgot Vic was once an astronaut like Jack who met a cruel fate, but gets no path to redemption of her own.
Message posted on 2013-07-18 06:46:33
Ian Cooper said:
Oblivion clearly passes 3 of 3. Victoria talks to Julia about how long she's been in delta sleep. Jak interjects, but the initial exchange is purely between the two women.
Message posted on 2013-08-15 12:07:39
AF said:
I think Sally is female. I don't think one can hide behind the fact that she is a projection. The fact is that what we see is a woman. I also disagree with the term projection infact I'd call it a personification. And there is a difference between seeing a woman or seeing a man. In 2001 a space odissey HAL9000 is a computer and it is only a red led but it has a male personification. In Star Trek 1966 for example the ship is an object but has clearly a female persona. Infact it is referred in more than one episode as a beautiful woman to protect at all costs and the computer, which we can effectively consider the ship voice, has a female voice. Can you imagine Captain Kirk referring to the ship as a "a beautiful man to protect at all costs"?
Message posted on 2013-08-26 08:30:43
Lewis said:
Even if you discount the Sally and Victoria conversations (kudos to Melissa Leo for her performance,btw) the movie still passes. Victoria and Julia talk about her medical condition and the crash when she wakes up in Tower 49.

This doesn't give the movie a pass in terms of gender depictions. Victoria and Julia are not strong characters and they have little to no initiative. Their lives pretty much revolve around Jack for the sole reason that he's the main character and must therefore be important to everyone. Tom Cruise has taken enough risks with his roles that I suspect this has more to do with the writing than his ego, but either way its kind of sad to see two actresses basically stand around the whole movie doing nothing.
Message posted on 2013-11-01 22:33:58
NF said:
Even if you discount conversations with Sally when it's really coming from the TET, (which I don't think you should, they have plenty of conversations about drone status, defensive objectives, and the need for spare parts, if you disqualify the TET for being a machine and thus its conversations derivative shouldn't Victoria also be discounted for being a clone without a memory? Neither are "real" women in the human sense but Jack is also not a "real" man) at the end of the movie Jack plays the recording from the Odyssey flight and it flashes back to the Odyssey's encounter with the TET. There are a few lines when the "real" Victoria and Sally converse about ship status and trying to escape the TET's gravitational pull starting with Victoria's first response that it was "another day in paradise." Just because Jack is also a part of that conversation does not mean the conversation is void, or is the test now they talk to each other without any men in the room?
Message posted on 2014-04-30 02:12:51
Dan said:
Stop talking about Sally. She/it alone lets this movie pass Bechdal test #3. Don't believe me? I don't care. Watch the film again and then repeat your point of view with a straight face..... OK, moving on. Has everyone completely ignored the conversations between Victoria and Julia when Jack first brings her aboard their cloud pad? The talk mostly is about Julia (Julia is a woman = not a man). It basically follows topics such as; her condition (her condition dehydrated, confused and tired. Dehydration, confusion and weariness is not a man = not a man), who this woman is (and I think this is pretty important right here! I'll repeat that one. Victoria is asking Julia who Julia is and Julia replying who she is = two women talking about one of the women = not a man), her ship crashing (ship = not a man, crashing = a verb in the gerund form = not a man), her dead gender-non-specific crew (Ok, well only one survivor is visible and identifiable as male prior to being blasted by drone, others have not been referenced as either male or female and Schrodinger has a view with regards to things in boxes very similar to this = male and female?), her being the sole survivor (Julia is the sole survivor, Julia is a woman, being the sole survivor can be difficult but a man maketh it doesn't = not a man), Victoria offering condolences for her loss (Feelings, specifically Julia's feelings. Surely this is another big one that doesn't have anything to do with 'a man' and thus = not a man), the time she has spent in delta sleep (sci-fi jargon = not a man), the danger present on the surface of earth (not a man as such, sure men can be dangerous at times and perhaps men are involved but not all men are dangerous and not all danger is a man or men = not a man), Julia's need to rest (Neither Julia or rest are men = not a man), Julia refusing the medication/poison Victoria is about to administer (yes it might only be a wild eyed 'don't touch me' but I have been lead to believe through my years as a human that the noises that emanated from her vocal chords are indeed speech and thus can be considered as Julia talking to Victoria. I don't consider that the brevity is relevant or that it is too short to be considered talking - I definitely was able to distinguish those whispered utterances as words and deciphered their meanings via my base understandings of semiotics to be about Julia not wanting the medication/poison! - QED she effin spoke. Medication/poison = not a man), Julia cuts off Victoria's objection to evidence of a record to talk about needing the flight recorder from ship before she is able to give more information (last I checked neither information, records nor ships were men. Ok so Julia was a little rude in the delivery, but that doesn't mean it is about a man and neither was what Victoria had to say about a man = two women talking about = not a man), Victoria reminds Julia of the inevitable occurrence of change that tends to take place with the passage of time (Time, although a man-made concept is not a man. Changes, while difficult to define are definitely not a man = not a man), Victoria claims she understands Julia loss of her ship, crew and everything... 42 ;) - and offers her the opportunity to be alone (Well, we're back to emotions here, Julia's. Julia's emotions are not a man = not a man). If there is still some dispute about this conversation being too breif, it clocks up roughly 4 mins and takes place between the 42min mark and the 00:46:08 time stamp – you know, if you wish to double check. If you complain that this is insufficient, bare in mind that this is an action sci-fi flick and 4 mins of dialogue is actually pretty good going really. If you complain that Jack's presence compromises this as two women talking, none of what I mentioned before is spoken by Jack or to Jack, those are all lines delivered by either Julia or Victoria to the other woman. If there is still further dispute with regards to Jack's presence let's refer to what I shall call exhibit 'B'. Exhibit ‘B’ is the film Alien (1979) which is referenced by exhibit ‘A’, the original comic strip drawn by Alison Bechdel from which the Bechdel test gets the name. Ignore exhibit ‘A’ for now. as I was trying to talk about exhibit ‘B’… Alien (1979). Ripley and Lambert talk to each other but mostly in front of men or during larger conversations that involve male speakers also. Things they talk about are their hierarchy which involves the men and protocol, the ship and the alien. Only the alien is mentioned in exhibit ‘A’… so what? Occasionally their dialogue is across intercoms etc… and yet this must be noted as the first official passing film in the Bechdel test and offers us a vision of how to judge other films with it.


I was going to write that you should ignore exhibit ‘A’ all together as everyone has changed it from 1) two women 2) who talk to each other about 3) something other than a man, to being 1) two [named] women 2) who talk to each other [for longer than 30 seconds] about….. SO I KNOW YOU’VE ALL IGNORED EXHIBIT ‘A’ RIGHT FROM THE GET GO. Shut up, it’s true! No excuses, as this are actually a whole other debate… and you know it. The women don’t need to be named to pass the Bechdel test, full stop… once again re-read exhibit ‘A’ and point to the part where it mentions the women’s names are important… in fact point to the names of the female characters in the comic strip, because otherwise using this modern addition not penned by Bechdel – but passed off as the Bechdel test then think about whether or not the comic strip itself would pass the current version of the Bechdel test. No, it wouldn’t. Why? Because some dipshit decided it was a requirement that the characters had to be named and that a voice that comes from a character with no name is seen as less relevant or some such twaddle. I call BS. And anyone who adheres to the must-be-named rule is ignoring exhibit ‘A’ completely thus making the Bechdel test evaporate in a Douglas Adamsesque puff of logic. I bid you good day… and that you may never speak again…

If this comic strip was to be played out in a time based media such as film or animation or even produced as a stage play would their voice be less important? Think about that before judging a 35 second dialogue as less important than a 60 second dialogue. If converted into a screenplay by standard conventions 1 page approximates 1 minute of onscreen action this comic would also fail the modern implementations of the test playing out at little over half a page. Why use this rule? If they talk, they talk. Some times talking between men in films is short too does that mean it doesn’t happen?

Another thing that can be learned from exhibit ‘A’ is that the protagonist is in no way happy with her test resulting in Alien being the last film she watched noted by the way she places emphasis on Ripley and Lambert’s topic of conversational choice and thus we have been given a clue that the Bechdel test is hardly the be all and end all of feminist film comparisons within the first example of the test itself.

Further, this website has no author (that I can find). Is it moderated or is it a wiki? Do these reviews and counter opinions get read or count for anything? Do the icons get changed to a different one based on evidence presented? And if not, why not? Is it really some thing I should be bothering to continue using/wasting my time with? Essentially if the reviews, opinions and evidence presented doesn’t count for anything then this really is just some ones opinion and since there is no name connected to the website (that I can find) it is a completely anonymous genderless opinion... Oh, the irony!... or perhaps it is the OP who's opinion needs to be swayed. Which is a really strange way to run a database website to be honest... but, in which case...

Dear OP. please read all above... and then change the icon to a pass on all three points of the Bechdel test. Kthnkzbai!

Message posted on 2014-06-16 07:45:08
neil (webmaster) said:
I've updated the rating from 2/3 to 3/3.
Message posted on 2014-06-17 05:53:00
Dan said:
Nailed it!
Message posted on 2014-06-18 02:48:32

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