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 Martian (2015) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Grace Lambert-Smith on 2015-09-24 21:31:27.



Grace Lambert-Smith said:
There are two women on board a spaceship who frequently converse. In addition to this, there are other women in power throughout the movie. The subject of the movie is a rescue mission of a man stuck on Mars so it's hard to pick out scenes where they don't discuss him.
Message posted on 2015-09-24 21:31:27
Fernanda Fraga said:
I loved how woman is presented in this movie. Yes, science is a girl thing too!
Message posted on 2015-10-03 23:14:22
Thegreatnick said:
Additionally, passes the Person of Colour Bechdel Test (juuust about) as Chiwetel Ejiofor and Donald Glover talk about something, though I'm pretty sure it's about saving Matt Damon. I'm personally giving it a pass because, like in Man Of Steel, literally the whole of NASA/the world is interested in this one guy and in The Martian, their jobs are saving him.
Message posted on 2015-10-04 12:53:44
Mehal said:
There are four major women characters in the film. Most of their discussions are about Mark, but Commander Lewis and Johanssen (the two women astronauts) have a conversation about decompressing the ship, among other things.
Message posted on 2015-10-06 03:48:30
Miriam said:
two female astronauts discuss technical logistics of the mission to save the guy
Message posted on 2015-10-06 21:53:53
colonlessman disagreed with the rating and said:
I only watched this movie once and loved it, but I wasn't thinking about this test so I might be wrong here but I don't remember a time when two female characters talk to each other about anything other than Mark Watney. The whole point of the film is to save him so it is'nt
Message posted on 2015-10-07 05:05:15
Lili said:
This movie has one of the best portrayals of women I have ever seen. They could have trapped the female captain in so many cliches, but they didn't. I'm the most happy she had a romantic relationship unrelated to her coworkers, and that it was showed as secondary information. Having said that, the movie passes just by one direct short interaction in the beginning. But it's a miracle anyway, because they are after all a group and rescuing a male protagonist.
Message posted on 2015-10-09 18:34:58
Sunny said:
Disappointed that the female coder had to have a romance and be shown at the end being fulfilled because she just had a baby. Sigh.
Message posted on 2015-10-09 20:15:22
pappagiv said:
I spotted out some conversations between the two female astronaut that is not directly about Mark. For exaple, when they discuss the circumstances how to turn the space ship so they can return to the Mars. They speaking about scientific questions, strategies, etc.
Message posted on 2015-10-11 12:52:02
PlantLearner said:
Yes, the commander seemed a cool female character and her conversation with her female colleague lets the movie pass, but it's disappointing that there weren't more woman-woman conversations of this type in a movie about complex science problem-solving. The Commander was admirable, but she was the only one. I was impressed that she was willing to question authority and seize leadership, after building and checking for consensus, despite her military background. Good complexity of character. Showing but not making a huge big deal about her having a life-partner ... meh. Whatever. The computer-communications specialist did not need to be shown as romantically involved at all, and certainly not with a colleague. Or be shown with a newborn. Very two-dimensional characterization. Annoying. Kristin Wiig's character did not need to be treated with so much condescension and disrespect. That could be justified as NASA scientists showing contempt for PR concerns, but that is an annoying and probably inaccurate stereotype because NASA scientists know that PR is their bread-and-butter. The disrespecting of that female character was gratuitous and done as some sort of attempt at comic relief. Kinda disgusting if you think about it. The young bleach-blond woman who was the satellite-telemetry specialist was also treated condescendingly. The script did not allowed her to discover Watney's activities on her own. Rather, she received some sort of G-chat message about the coordinates to check, which was unattributed but likely came from a man, most likely the "boss" guy . . . the older white guy who was the official ARES mission director. Casting a young woman in such potentially empowering but actually disempowered role bugged me. Admittedly, it's fine for co-workers at NASA to work in a framework of teamwork and management hierarchy, and to discuss skepticism, but why thrust so much "taking orders" behavior onto the women, especially onto the youngest and blondest of the women characters? (Note that the Donald Glover character, the young guy doing the mathematical astrondynamics, was accorded much more latitude and more respect, despite his incredibly unprofessional behavior. The disparity between these two characters speaks volumes about the stereotyping in this superficially "progressive" movie.) Finally, and most annoyingly, why couldn't one of the handful of women and the legions of non-whites have INTERSECTED! It's been mentioned elsewhere that Weir's novel named one of the female characters "Park" which is likely a Korean surname. Why not have stuck with that? I'm sure there are plenty of Korean actresses who would have jumped at the opporother than Chastain and Wiig, the other two women were not big stars). I believe they stuck in a woman of color at the end, if I'm not mistaken, as one of the speakers at the press conference about the subsequent ARES mission launching. But that was tokenism, which is always rather annoying.
Message posted on 2015-10-12 01:07:03
stevek1804 said:
Didn't spot anything about her being particularly fulfilled by having a baby, just that she'd had one.
Message posted on 2015-10-12 15:20:18
ClareTheClare said:
I thought the two actresses (the astronauts) looked so similar they could be the same person (cheaper that way)
Message posted on 2015-10-13 13:31:30
Susan said:
I really liked this movie in general, but I did have some issues with the characters. I liked how there were women on the Ares mission, and one was the captain. But everyone was white except for one Hispanic guy. Back at NASA/JPL, there was racial diversity, but everyone in an important role was a man except for the white, blonde PR director and the white, blonde chick who checks the satellites and seems kind of spacey (ha, ha) a lot of the time. There were some female extras floating around of various races and it was implied that they were engineers/had equal roles to the male extras. Nice-ish try, Hollywood?
Message posted on 2015-12-14 05:10:56
Renny said:
Susan that's not what this test and this site are about, this is a site about female representation in film. Also I don't see why so many commenters here have issues with women being in a relationship or having babies, women are human, we're not robots...we have needs and desires just like any man.
Message posted on 2016-01-16 00:36:12
Martian_annoyed said:
I agree with PlantLearner's comments.

NASA is still led by men, the women there just do PR or are junior tech. The breakthrough discoveries - that the stranded astronaut wants to communicate, that a new trajectory can be made, are found by men. The genius science nerd is a man. The computer science smart woman has to have a romance and baby.

Great, so this 2030, not much has changed and this movie barely passes the test, which is a crude test... ho hum the usual. Written by a typical average guy and adapted to the screen by another.. why don't the three main actresses fight back? Why cant they improvise and do something stronger???

So annoying. I saw this on the plane and was shocked how nonprogressive this portrayal of the future was. Thumbs down Ridley, Alien was far far better.
Message posted on 2016-01-16 15:56:47
Hmm said:
@Martian_annoyed -- NASA's biggest discovery of all—that Watney is still alive on the planet—was made by Mindy Park (she realizes what the position of the rover and brightness of the solar panels mean and immediately declares an emergency). It's Lewis who figures out how to slow the Ares down, by ordering the construction and placement of a bomb. And Johnansson is the one who figures out how Mitch has hidden the Rich Purnell message. All three of these contributions are on the critical path to rescuing Watney.
Message posted on 2016-01-17 20:27:38
Ranga disagreed with the rating and said:
Totally agree with Hmm. Of the 4 main female leads, two are astronauts and one is the head of NASA PR (not an insignificant title). Park may have held a low level position, but she is later given complete control over the Mars satellite network.

Yes, you could make an argument that all the conversations are indirectly about Matt Damon's character, but then again they are the ones saving his sorry ass, so I'll give it a pass.

My only complaint is that the other 5 astronauts could have had some more screen time and character development. That would have better established Johanansson before the last scene with the newborn, but I don't think it diminished her at all.
Message posted on 2016-02-15 05:36:11
Ricstrr said:
Everyone seems to have missed that in the first 5 minutes of the film, before Watney gets left behind, Lewis and Johannsen exchange a few lines about the incoming storm, with the various male crew members just standing around looking at each other or the monitors.
Message posted on 2020-02-16 08:02:15
LasagnaFan said:
Despite passing the Bechdel test, I found this movie quite enjoyable & the characters in question didn't detract significantly from the movie's purpose.
Message posted on 2022-03-21 07:12:20

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