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

[[2]] Oblivion (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 2 of 3 tests. It was entered by Vincent on 2013-04-14 19:12:17.



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:

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 disagreed with the rating and 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:// (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 disagreed with the rating and 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 disagreed with the rating and 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 disagreed with the rating and 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

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