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]] The Worst Person in the World (2021) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by elephant_with_cape on 2022-01-11 12:11:54.



elephant_with_cape said:
First off, I really enjoyed this film. It centers around a female lead and her search for meaning.

There are more than 2 named female characters, though only two are really important : Julie (lead), Sunniva (Eivind's ex)

They talk to each other :
Julie speaks to Aksel's friend briefly about her writing, the friend is not named, and the conversation veers towards parenting.

Julie talks to her step-sister about her football matches, but she is not named.

Julie and Sunniva talk very briefly in the bookstore as Sunniva is looking for "Green Yoga" so technically it passes. However, I would argue that the purpose of the scene is to show Eivind with Sunniva and therefore that the purpose of the interaction from a cinematic sense is about a man.

I was surprised when I looked back through the film, that there are very few interactions between women. In the reverse, Aksel speaks with his named friend about his comic book adaptation ; but aside from that there are few interactions between just men.

This film is hinged on relationships between genders so it makes sense that nearly all the interactions are between men and women.
Message posted on 2022-01-11 12:11:54
NormaliTea disagreed with the rating and said:
This is a tough one - but like elephant_with_cape said, the interaction in the bookstore between the two named female characters is minimal, and really just sets up the opportunity for Julie and Eivind to speak.

The request re: yoga book is definitely not a conversation - in fact, Julie is so distracted by Eivind's presence that she can hardly focus on Sunniva's question.

For a movie with a female lead, I was disappointed that the main character's personality/motivation wasn't explored in more depth; it was a superficial story that placed more emphasis on romantic connections than on anything else.
Message posted on 2022-03-03 04:41:13
opli said:
A response to NormaliTea: I don't think it is fair to say that The Worst Person in the World puts most emphasis on "romantic connections" and is not interested in exploring the protagonist's "personality/motivation" "in more depth".

First of all, the film definitely puts more emphasis on the character, but the character is explored through her relationships with two men, and how she grows from those relationships. However, they are not just "romantic" relationships, as should be clear to anyone who has seen the last third of the film where (spoiler alert) the connection between the protagonist and her ex is revealed to be deeper, and in those scene the relation between them is no longer romantic.

Second, I think the film definitely explores the protagonist's personality and also precisely lack of motivation. There is not much conventional exploration of motivation in the film because the film relies on the character's lack of clairvoyance with regard to who she is and what she wants. She is still learning and growing -- and she continues to do so by the end of the film. The point is: life is messy, humans are messy, and the film is unapologetically clueless about human life with the exception of these very human truths -- that yes, life indeed is a mess.
Message posted on 2022-06-09 22:34:14

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