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

[[0]] The Tree of Life (2011) [imdb]

This movie passed 0 of 3 tests. It was entered by Laura on 2011-05-31 05:59:52.



Laura said:
The mother in the film doesn't have a first name, she's only known as Mrs. O'Brien. She sort of talks to a neighbor who's consoling her for a second on her lawn. The only other woman in the film who's of any import is only known as the Grandmother, MOTHERHOOD being the important trope here. Despite Malick's auteur status, he's never been great with women. But this one reaches a new level.
Message posted on 2011-05-31 05:59:52
Lance disagreed with the rating and said:
There is a scene where the female neighbor talks to the mother after her son has died. They are talking about grief and about the son passing, so it's a case of two women talking about a man.
Message posted on 2011-06-14 13:20:53
T disagreed with the rating and said:
This movie is sort of difficult to asses via the Bechdel Test since basically no characters are named (except in the credits) and almost no one talks to each other at all, not just the women.

As far as Malick not being great with women...he's only made five movies and two of them are narrated by women, so I would question that statement a little bit.
Message posted on 2011-06-22 18:13:33
Watson said:
I find the claim that Malick has "never been good with women" to be completely wrong. His first two films feature female narrators who give their own distinct views on what's happening around them. They're not used to explain what the viewer is looking at but to relay a perspective of their own. Besides, of those two movies, the dialogue in Badlands is about 90% the two central characters talking or said narration and Days Of Heaven passes this test comfortably despite again very sparse and rare dialogue.

The Thin Red Line's failure in the test is logical given it's setting. I'd really have a hard time working out how you would insert prominent female characters in a film centered around the battle of mount austen.

The New World passes the test and features a strong, involving female lead who essentially is the central point for the film in both it's narrative and spiritual content.

So tell me, how has he never been good with women? It seems to me like women have been the anchoring characters is three of his four movies prior to this one.
Message posted on 2011-07-01 13:16:23
j disagreed with the rating and said:
"MOTHERHOOD being the important trope here" -- So being a mother is about men, in your eyes?
Message posted on 2011-07-08 05:41:02
Ezmo said:
Actually all of Malick's films feature narration by women, even The Thin Red Line, which features voice over by one of the soldier's girlfriends back home.
Message posted on 2011-07-13 22:43:57
Dean disagreed with the rating and said:
The rating shocked me a bit as definitely there are two women talking, as noted above. That it is a small part of the movie in time does not matter, it is significant enough to recall. HOWEVER on reflection I consider this whole movie is about men, about boys and dads, what I disliked about it is that the Mother is so passive, that she does not show her animus. And the male lead does not show his anima, his female side (You might say that is the point of the movie), or hardly at all. So although technically it would rate a smiley face, I agree that in the wider scheme it gets an X-ed speaker. Babble but no message.
Message posted on 2012-05-07 14:38:08
Daniel Hofverberg disagreed with the rating and said:
I agree that it's unrealistic to go by the "named characters" rule in a movie where most characters aren't named.

So I consider the movie to pass 2 out of 3 tests - but all conversation between women are about men, so it does not pass the third test.
Message posted on 2013-01-28 10:02:18

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