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]] Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by ghost on 2014-06-28 09:51:42.



ghost said:
there was this one scene where two women talked about something other then guys
Message posted on 2014-06-28 09:51:42
adam disagreed with the rating and said:
I can only recall 3 named female characters (assuming the robots are all male) but in the whole tedious 3 hour film when do they once talk to each other?
Message posted on 2014-06-30 04:16:43
J said:
This movie passes the test. Sophia Myles and Li Bingbing talk about the fact that they are in a car with a bomb in it. It is a three way conversation with Stanely Tucci also in the car but they address each other enough for it to count.

All things in this movie involving Mark Walhberg's daughter fail feminism pretty hard though.
Message posted on 2014-06-30 20:06:00
BJR said:
I saw the movie last night and went into it curious to see if it would pass. It did, for the reason J mentions. Also worth mentioning that I don't think anyone in the audience could have recalled the screen-names of the two characters, and, as best I could tell, it was a two-sentence exchange like: "There's a bomb in this car?" "There's a bomb in this car."

It was painful to watch any moment involving the daughter character. The fight for control and ownership the McGuffin had less urgency or tension to it than the fight for control and ownership of the McGirl.
Message posted on 2014-07-01 14:17:02
Rog disagreed with the rating and said:
While there are 3 female characters of note, and 2 of them do participate in a conversation that is not about a man, they don't really talk to each other. Without Stanley Tucci there acting as a catalyst, I don't think they would interact at all. So it either passes 2 of the three tests, or it questionably passes the third.
Message posted on 2014-07-07 16:47:37
Emma disagreed with the rating and said:
I'm sorry but "Is there a bomb in this car?" "Yes" is NOT a *conversation*. And that's the only time 2 women talk to each other.
Message posted on 2014-07-23 00:27:11
Carmen said:
at the start of the movie there is some exchange between the daughter and some of her friends about only two weeks till graduation/summer. it passes.
Message posted on 2014-07-25 22:35:27
Rob said:
Emma, nothing in the bechdel test requires them to have a "conversation". The Bechdel test only requires them to talk to each other. "There's a bomb in this car?" and "yes, there's a bomb in thsi car" both meet the definition of talking. Both saying "Hi" to one another would have been enough.

Rog, there is no question whether it passes the test as written. It does not matter what might have happened had another charactor (Tucci) not been there. All that matters is whether the two did talk to one another.
Message posted on 2015-01-15 21:29:39
Riley said:
Carmen, as far as I can remember, her friends didn't have names. And I think there was at lease one boy in the car.
Message posted on 2015-03-15 18:45:16
Bethany Sparks disagreed with the rating and said:
The test as written is meant to be jumping off point - a bare minimum checkpoint to consider female representation and inequality in film. But it can't be the only one.

In a 2 hour and 45 minute film, if the only "conversation" between the 2 named women is one woman responding to a man's statement that "There's a bomb in the car" with the question "There's a bomb in the car?" and then another woman says, "Yes, there's a bomb in the car". I can't really say that's a hard pass of this test, when essentially the conversation is about a man (since Stanley Tucci is the one in charge of protecting the bomb and they are really talking about his choice to have it in the car with them).

And let's look at the other elements of representation in this film.
In a cast of 9 named human characters and roughly 9 named Transformers, there were 3 named characters who were women. None of the Transformers presented as female and all of the voice actors are male.

Since more than 50% of the population is female, this is a very imbalanced representation.

At the beginning of the film, we do have 1 great scene where a woman determines the fate of the ice dragon. She gets to speak 2 sentences to a man that show her agency and power. Unfortunately, we don't see her again, nor is she mentioned by anyone, for the next 70 minutes of the movie.

When the dark CIA group is revealed it is full of white men. No women.

When Mark Wahlberg's character is introduced, there are no women present.

When he has his first conversation with his daughter and his business partner, it's about how sexually provocative her clothes are, which is re-affirmed by his partner's only mention of her.
The next time the daughter is onscreen, she's talking to her Dad about dating boys.

When we see the CIA black ops military group with guns, there are no female voices or any indication that females are present.

There are a couple of unnamed females (about 3 out of 12 people in the room) with headsets in the CIA listening scene when Kelsey Grammar gets the signal of Optimus Prime coming back online. They are onscreen for less than 1 minute.

The daughter is basically the only female character for the first hour of the film that gets any significant amount of screen-time and her role is girlfriend/daughter who needs to be protected. I can't even remember her name because she is addressed as 'sweetie', 'honey', or 'baby' by the other characters.

Next, we see a company that is majority women - yay! - EXCEPT
We find out that it's a company where Stanley Tucci is in charge, the women he is greeted by at the door are unnamed assistants, dressed to be sexually provocative (we are introduced to them by their stilletto heeled legs first) and they speak in unison as if they have no individual personalities. Then we see the woman from the beginning, the one who seemed to have power, try to tell Stanley Tucci about her findings (I guess she works for him) and she is immediately dismissed and asked for a date by Tucci. When he shows her around to all the great science work he's paying people to do, all of the technicians and scientists are male. Every one.

80 minutes in, we finally get introduced to the other named female character in that bomb conversation (although, we might think her name is "my beautiful flower" since that's how she's introduced). And we don't see her again for another 30 minutes.

If we do say that this film passes the Bechdel test (and I think that passing score is extremely dubious), it's really pointing out that the Bechdel test is inadequate as a measure of female representation in film, but moreover, it's a test that asks really THE BARE MINIMUM of representation in films, and some films STILL DON'T PASS.
Message posted on 2020-01-24 09:05:28

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