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]] American Hustle (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by NessieNos on 2013-12-04 05:29:51.



NessieNos said:
This movie has a couple of major female characters who are well-realized and central to the plot, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. They only speak to each other in one scene, though, and the conversation is mostly about a man (Christian Bale's character), though it drifts away from him at the end. The only real conversation between women not having to do with a man at all occurs between Lawrence's character and a politician's wife, who talk about a favorite nail polish and the elements that go into perfume.
Message posted on 2013-12-04 05:29:51
Ryllie disagreed with the rating and said:
The portrayal of women was very sexualized and degrading. The central role of both Amy Adams' and Jennifer Lawrence's characters was as sex objects and their clothes were almost always very revealing. Talking about nail polish and perfume does not seem sufficient for it to pass the "talking about something other than a man" test.
Message posted on 2014-01-02 03:26:34
Jm said:
There is also the scene where Amy Adam's character goes to the woman in charge of wire transfers and convinces her to wire the money for the scam
Message posted on 2014-01-06 15:13:17
Beth said:
Whether or not you thought the movie was degrading or sexualized, it still passes the test easily. Nail polish might not be the most complex topic, but it still counts as something and the conversation was quite long.

It passes.
Message posted on 2014-01-07 22:51:14
Bernie (woman) said:
I think Amy Adams character was well-realized as an ambitious, intelligent, independent woman, but was overly sexualized. The few lines exchanged with Jennifer Lawrence were about perfume, fighting over Christian Bale, and I agree that they don't pass the test. It's not CONVERSATION.
Message posted on 2014-01-09 12:17:59
Teacher H disagreed with the rating and said:
The wire transfer woman has a name, Brenda. Also, Jennifer Lawrence's character speaks to the mayor's wife, Dolly Polito, about nail polish. Not exactly a feminist breakthrough thee, but I think it technically passes the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2014-01-09 23:11:58
Jain Elliott said:
Wire transfer gal has a name. Brenda. But still, passing the test at this much of a stretch only shows why we need the test.
Message posted on 2014-01-14 17:07:56
Julian said:
I don't think sexualization is a bad thing when you consider the roles of these two women, the historical and geographical context in which they existed and the lives they were leading. Get a grip, people... Sexuality is anything but bad, especially when it is there for a good reason.
Message posted on 2014-01-18 03:42:36
Chris said:
The conversation about perfume is one of the most symbolic and important conversations in the film. It represents how in everything and everybody good there is something evil and rotten. Out of the context of the film, this is a shallow and misogynistic way to portray women. However, the nail polish is a recurring motif throughout the movie and ties into the integral theme of the blurred lines between good and evil.

That being said, this movie still barely passes the Bechdel test because there are only three conversations between two named women in total and the bathroom scene between Rosalind and Sydney/Edith DEFINITELY does not count. The writers could have and should have done a lot more, especially considering the incredible possibilities they had with the intense female characters they created.
Message posted on 2014-01-19 19:02:50
Lisa disagreed with the rating and said:
If you only know a character's name (ie the mayor's wife) because you look it up on IMDB that doesn't really count as a named character. Spirit, not letter of the law.
Message posted on 2014-01-19 21:19:02
Dephira disagreed with the rating and said:
To be honest, I don't understand why there has to be debate about this; Jennifer Lawrence talks to Dolly about nail polish. Nail polish does not equal men. The movie clearly passes. You may think whatever you like about the movie's feminist ideas, and please, do share them on this page, but there's no point in talking about the "spirit of the test" since the test has such clearly laid out rules, and this movie clearly passes them.
Message posted on 2014-01-22 09:17:50
Clare disagreed with the rating and said:
I only disagree as Rosalyn talks to Dolly briefly about their husbands just after they're talking about nail polish. Also when Rosalyn and Sydney/Edith see each other for the first time they are seething with hate, even though they don't talk to each other, it still shows that they don't like each other and are fighting over the same guy.
Message posted on 2014-01-27 01:15:14
Kimberly said:
Well it does pass, technically; but that the conversation was about nail polish remind me of the expression, "it's the exception that proves the rule." With the Bechdel Test being so widely recognized now, it seems like Amy or Jennifer could have given it a look-see!!
Message posted on 2014-02-19 21:06:09
Daniel Hofverberg said:
It's certainly a matter of opinion what one may think of the depiction of women in the movie; but there is no doubt that the movie does pass the Bechdel test as written.

Dolly was mentioned by name several times, so she must be considered a named (although not very important) character. So her conversation with Rosalyn about nail polish definitely counts as passing the Bechdel test. It may not be a very deep or intellectual conversation, but it's still a conversation about something besides men.

However, I do agree that the bathroom scene between Rosalyn and Sidney does not qualify as passing, considering pretty much every single sentence of their conversation has to do with a man.
Message posted on 2014-02-20 19:47:29
Martin L. disagreed with the rating and said:
I think everybody is forgetting Edith/Sydney's conversation with FBI agent Brenda, wich isn't about men (a male character is present in the scene but he barely says anything) and plays an important part in the plot, since it allows the main characters to wire money.
Message posted on 2014-03-02 15:14:25
James disagreed with the rating and said:
Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence's characters are the only major "named" women in the movie, and their only scene together is one where they fight over Christian Bale.

There is some non-male related female interaction put not with characters that can count as "named." So it fails part three of the test for me, but just barely.

I can't agree with the argument that Amy Adam's is oversexualized. She's dressed the way a person in her situation would. The movie is aware she's a pretty lady, but she isn't reduced to that. At no point is she depicted as being less capable than her male counterpoints
Message posted on 2014-03-29 15:42:35
Drake said:
This movie is all about manipulation and deception. Nearly every major character goes to great lengths to lie to someone; be it their financial victims, friends and family, constituents, or themselves. In the case of Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence's characters, their sexuality is a weapon they use to manipulate the male characters around them, rather effectively I might add. So there is an argument to be made that their behavior essential to the movie's plot and overall theme, and not just eye candy for the male audience.
Message posted on 2014-04-02 16:07:57
Chelsea disagreed with the rating and said:
If the one conversation between the two women is about nail polish what does that say about women are being used in the movie. I agree with Lisa, spirit not letter. Think of all the things the guys talk about and the only thing the two women can talk about that's not about a man is nail polish, I don't care if it is a motif. This movie says that women only talk about men and nail polish. Thumb down.
Message posted on 2014-05-05 05:47:16
sarah disagreed with the rating and said:
The nail polish conversation was about how Christian Bale's character loves the smell of the nail polish. It was about him.
Message posted on 2014-05-11 06:12:17
Charlie said:
The nail polish conversation is what makes the movie pass. Dolly and Rosalyn have a full conversation with proper back-and-forth communication about something other than a man (the nail polish top coat). While the top coat may be a symbol of Irving's personality, the conversation at its core has nothing to do with him; he is not involved in it and when Dolly and Rosalyn discuss it they are not intentionally referring to him. While overall there are extremely misogynistic ideals portrayed in the film as a whole, American Hustle passes under the requirements of the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2014-06-20 04:23:08
Jacob said:
Amy Adams character was very sexual, but that was fitting into the motif of disguises. Bale's comb-over, Cooper's perm, all three of them where hiding what they really were. Adams was using her sexuality to distract and appear more confident than she actually was. The sexy English lady, instead of the scared, lonely woman she was.
Message posted on 2014-07-02 16:51:33

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