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]] Blade Runner 2049 (2017) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Don't Mind Me Now on 2017-10-06 06:44:22.



Don't Mind Me Now said:
(Spoilers) After Joi (a female AI that manifests via hologram) enlists Mariette as a physical body to engage in sexuality, there is a short scene the following morning in which Joi dismisses Mariette, who responds by insulting Joi, saying something along the lines of "I've been inside you. There's not much there." While K is subtextually present in the conversation as the reason Joi hired Mariette in the first place, neither he nor any other male is referenced in the exchange.
Message posted on 2017-10-06 06:44:22
Schibes said:
Agree - this movie passes. Besides the Joi/Mariette scene there is also a scene where female LAPD Lieutenant Joshi confronts female replicant baddie Luv about her recent theft of evidence from the LAPD's crime lab.
Message posted on 2017-10-13 02:37:29
Kay disagreed with the rating and said:
I strongly disagree that either of the exchanges mentioned in earlier comments are not about a man. The Joshi/Luv confrontation starts with the words "Where is he?" and is exclusively about finding K (the incidental comment about the stolen evidence is part of the conversation about finding him). And the Joi-Mariette connection is so thoroughly about K that their exchange (of one sentence each, as Mariette walks out the door) doesn't contribute to passing the test. This movie clearly doesn't pass the test in spirit (and I disagree with the other two posters that it passes on technicalities).
Message posted on 2017-10-19 19:13:34
Reality Check disagreed with the rating and said:
The conversation of, "I've been inside you there's not much there" was in reference to having merged bodies to have sex with a man and the statement alone hinted at some jealously towards her due to her relationship with said man.

The conversation that referenced the bones dissapearing was centered around Love finding the man and the officer protecting the man. The statement alone was refering to bones she believed were connected to the mans birth.
Message posted on 2017-10-19 20:25:14
Jen said:
Actually, all of Joi's dialogue with Mariette is not specifically about a man.

Mariette: "Well, look at YOU!"
Joi: "Quiet. I have to synch."

Also, Joi talking to Luv counts if you consider Luv to be talking to the person she's looking at, vs. just throwing out a one-liner:

Joi: "Stop!"
Luv: "...I do hope you're satisfied with our product."
Message posted on 2017-10-20 04:10:15
Laura disagreed with the rating and said:
Disagree. They're all talking about K in each situation.
Message posted on 2017-10-23 12:09:48
Olivia disagreed with the rating and said:
Every female character in this film is either a prostitute, replicant slave, replicant sex slave, evil villainess, or any combination of these. Perhaps two females talk about something other than men, but all of the female characters are in the service of men. All are slaves, one way or another. This movie contains no human, free female characters. I do not recommend spending any money on it.
Message posted on 2017-10-23 18:09:06
Steve disagreed with the rating and said:
The Joi Marriette conversation is about Joi being done with using Marriette to have sex with K (a man). Fail. The Luv Madam conversation is about finding K (a man). Fail.
Message posted on 2017-10-23 21:06:13
Scott said:
If this is all that is needed for a film to pass, I suggest making the test a teensy bit more difficult.
Message posted on 2017-10-25 20:09:43
Claire disagreed with the rating and said:
I also disagree with the rating, for the reasons given above - all the conversations referenced between women are specifically about a man.
Message posted on 2017-10-30 17:05:21
Marcus said:
"Every female character in this film is either a prostitute, replicant slave, replicant sex slave, evil villainess, or any combination of these." No, Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) is not and is not in the service of men...she is K's boss and a strong female role. Joshi-Luv scene: definitely 3 of 3.
Message posted on 2017-11-02 15:11:07
Gab disagreed with the rating and said:
The film don't past the test at all.

The scene and dialogues between Joi and Mariette only concern ''k'' well-beign. Even if the dialogues are not constantly refering to the man/replicant... it's still all about him.

@Olivia There is one free female character in the movie : Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright). But she's obviously found of ''K''.

Thigs to consider : I think the script volontary leaves us thinking about ''what it is to be free''. A question directly concerning replicants, AIs, and... women. Lieutenant Joshi is considering ''free'', but we understand that she constantly do things against her personnal will. So who's free?

(Original Blade Runner movie quote)

Gaff: Its too bad she wont live, but then again who does?

Message posted on 2017-11-11 18:45:50
LJ disagreed with the rating and said:
I disagree with the rating. The conversation clearly revolved around K in each of these cases. Films are not supposed to be counted as passing the Bechdel test "dubiously." That's cheating, which cheapens the test.
Message posted on 2018-01-12 05:09:21
Brendan said:
"Every female character in this film is either a prostitute, replicant slave, replicant sex slave, evil villainess, or any combination of these."

This has nothing to do with the Bechdel test. It is also incorrect as Robin Wright's character, Lt. Joshi, is a police officer.

It's set in a dystopian future; expect prostitution, slavery, and villains. (The character Luv is also more of a 'henchman' than a 'slave'. Of course, the extent to which creating conscious organisms/AI can be considered a sort of slavery is a theme touched upon in the film.)
Message posted on 2018-01-28 09:46:37
nat disagreed with the rating and said:
Joi: "Stop!" is about stopping Luv hurting K
Luv: "...I do hope you're satisfied with our product." Dismissed Joi exists and addressed K as the owner of the product.
Agreed that other interactions failed the test.
Agreed with Olivia that the majority of female characters exist to service men. Got excited with Wright but she failed to develop as a character. You can cut her out of the synopsis, or the director cut and it won't matter. Jusifying passing this test with her, next you would be saying that this is not a whitewashed piece full with a diversity of casts: one Mexican, 3 Black men and one Japanese computer. The film failed both in the spirit and in technicality to past this test. The film questioned with is real setting in a delusional simplified world, a dejavu of the original that doesnt moved 30 years into its future. The braved new world (then) that is being rebirth but this time without a soul, recalculated with the same predictable 1D archetypical variables woven in an age old arches that're done far too many times, repeating the original misdirection devices so that the twists are as predictable as the type of arches it choose to stict together. The choice of questions that it asked lack balls and its financial success will damage the future of any sci-fi to come. :'-(
Message posted on 2018-02-08 21:22:09
Rachael said:
I agree with the rating because it does pass by textbook standards, even if it's marginal.
Mariett: "Look at you!"
Joi: "Quiet, I'm tying to sync."
This is technically viable dialogue because though they are about to have sex with a man, they are not talking about him. Joi is the subject of the conversation, because Mariett is teasing her while Joi telling her to be quiet and explaining her reason for doing so.
And there is the moment between Luv and Joshi confronting each other:
Luv: "You tiny thing...You can't hold back the tide with a broom."
Joshi: "Except that I did."
Luv: "I'm going to tell mister Wallace you shot first. So I had to kill you.
Joshi: You do what you got to do"
Luv: "Madam"
Now you might argue Luv mentioning Wallace would break the third rule. But as the second rule states, it must be a conversation. A mention of Wallace is very different from a conversation about Wallace. The true subject of the conversation is Luv’s desicion on killing Joshi. As for the social issues everyone keeps bringing up, BR 2049 meant to do that because it's making a social commentary on how women are often viewed in the media and entertainment in every day life. To quote Rachael Kanes of Moviepilot: "the gender politics in Blade Runner 2049 are intentional: "The movie is about secondary citizens. Replicants. Orphans. Women. Slaves. Just by depicting these secondary citizens in subjugation doesn't mean that it is supportive of these depictions – they are a condemnation.” Director Denise Villeneuve even explained that this was on purpose: "Blade Runner is not about tomorrow; it's about today. And I'm sorry, but the world is not kind on women."
Message posted on 2018-03-01 05:19:29
Dee said:
I'd like to point out that though Joshi and Luv's confrontation starts out with Luv asking about K's location, it does transition to the replicant that was born (of unknown gender), the future of replicants, and Luv's intention to kill Joshi. That alone makes the movie pass all three tests.

Also, I take issue with some of these comments that seem to be talking about the dystopian setting as if the movie is endorsing it. Yes, in the dystopia of Blade Runner, there are prostitutes and slaves and bigots. That doesn't mean the film supports those things; in fact, the protagonist's story is largely about fighting the Wallace Corporation, and he allies himself with the underground resistance movement which opposes these things. Also, the comment about all women in the movie being some form of slave/prostitute is just wrong; Joshi is the head of the LAPD and Freysa is the leader of the resistance movement.
Message posted on 2018-05-31 07:34:18
Joseph Chastain said:
It's oretty much agreed that the subtext doesn't matter in whether the movie passes the test or not.

As for women being only servents of men: Freysa (the leader of the resistance who tells K who the child of Deckard is) is a warrior and is in no way a servant, . Ana Stelline (the woman who creates the memories for the Replicants) is a DOCTOR and is in no way a servant to men and Joshi (Robin Wright) is the head of the Blade Runners. The movie is not Mysoginist per se, but it explores mysoginism.
Message posted on 2018-06-08 11:47:00
Ted disagreed with the rating and said:
The test is not whether two female characters have two consecutive lines to each other that don’t explicitly reference a man. It is whether two women talk (as in have a conversation) that has nothing to do with a man. This is because the test is supppsed to measure how male-centrice movies (and female fictional characters) are. This movie clearly fails miserably.
Message posted on 2018-06-17 03:21:43
Robert Scythe said:
Ted Sorry but the test is exactly whether 2 women talk to each other not about a man. It was in a comic that allowed Alien to pass (with only "consecutive lines to each other that don't explicitly reference a man"). It is a simple gauge but it hit too close to home and there are many movies that passed the test that are rather misogynistic anyway. This one passes.
Message posted on 2018-07-24 22:07:41
Ian disagreed with the rating and said:
There should be a fourth rule: if the only qualifying sentence in a feature-length movie is remotely debatable, it fails. This whole strand is depressing and reflects that the movie fails terribly on principle probably by definition.
Message posted on 2018-08-29 15:27:10
Poma disagreed with the rating and said:
Concerning Lieutenant Joshi--
"Every female character in this film is either a prostitute, replicant slave, replicant sex slave, evil villainess, or any combination of these."
"No, Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) is not and is not in the service of men...she is K's boss and a strong female role."

It is true that Lieutenant Joshi is portrayed as none of the pejorative roles listed. I am nonetheless skeptical about her character due to one scene in which she visits K in his flat.

She is checking up on the progress of his investigation, and the first lines of the scene maintain the boss-employee dynamic that is introduced earlier in the film. The tone of their interaction then shifts from professional to personal. She pours herself a few drinks, sitting on his couch and asking about his implanted memories of a childhood he never lived -- N.B. As Luv asserts in another scene in the film, being asked personal questions can make someone feel desired.

Lt. Joshi goes on to basically sigh, look at the liquor bottle she had helped herself to already, and ask K what would happen if she were to stay and get drunk. It is a subtextual sexual advance which K dutifully declines. If we consider Gosling's character to be not a replicant man but a thing, perhaps Joshi is only pursuing pleasure using an accessory rather than trying to have sex with an officer under her command. Yet to objectify replicants as not being persons in such a way denies the humanity of most of the female characters in the film as well, and so is folly.

Joshi does have a significant rank in a police department, and no superior officer is presented in the film. And Wallace is likened to a technocrat deity, the most powerful person in the solar system, who controls the very sustenance and expansion of human civilization. His loyal 'angel' servant Luv can walk into a police station in a metropolis and murder a forensic investigator and even the Lt. herself with ease. Joshi exists in a patriarchal apparatus which unfailingly parallels that of today, so her freedom is that of a woman of similar status and race today.
Message posted on 2019-12-30 10:08:22
Kelvin said:
To say this movie is mysoginistic is to to say you havent seen it.

-Madame is a high title. She is the controlling authority of K.
-Luv is the literal hands, eyes, ears and mouth of Wallace, without her he would be a homeless man stumbling in the dark.
-If joi wasn't there, K would've emotionlessly slaughtered Deckard and his daughter. On site. Or possibly just turn himself in for execution in confusion.

They all serve KEY, VITAL roles in the movie, K is an aimless lost puppy without their guidance. Luv literally calls him a "bad dog" for not following her plan.

The conversation in the LAPD office isn't just about K. That conversation covers; K's service to Madame, The future of the Nexus race in its entirety, the consciousness of AI, AND the downfall of humanity.
Message posted on 2022-01-09 10:02:59
perfectlyGoodInk disagreed with the rating and said:
I am unable to find Rachael's quotes of Rachael Kanes nor Denise Villeneuve that indicate that the misogyny is intentional. It's possible that it might be (particularly with Joshi's implied proposition to K, read on below), but I'm not convinced.

"It is a subtextual sexual advance which K dutifully declines. ...[P]erhaps Joshi is only pursuing pleasure using an accessory rather than trying to have sex with an officer under her command. Yet to objectify replicants as not being persons in such a way denies the humanity of most of the female characters in the film as well, and so is folly."

This seems to be me to be an intentional statement about how sexual harassment is dehumanizing. Whether or not replicants are human is a clear theme (and K's humanity at that point is less than clear, as he has yet to believe that he is special and thus is portrayed by Gosling to be sleepwalking through his life much like Zach Braff's character in the beginning of "Garden State"). Meanwhile, sexual harassment like this is commonplace today -- but typically with a male superior abusing his authority over a female subordinate. Seems to me like one of the film's more overt statements.

That being said, we simply cannot ignore that every single major female character is killed off violently, often graphically with the camera lingering on them longer than necessary, as if to fetishize it. As I recall, the only surviving women with lines are Mariette, Dr. Ana Stelline, and Freysa, all of whom are relatively minor characters. One woman with no lines is killed while naked.

Perhaps all this violence against women is also an intentional statement, but this is *very* unclear. An inordinant amount of graphic violence against female characters is pretty routine in Hollywood movies, and what separates an intentional statement about Hollywood misogny from just another example of Hollywood misogyny is whether the film itself explicitly calls this out to the viewer's attention (e.g., a conversation between Freysa and Mariette near the end of the movie where one of them observe how uncanny it is that so many women in K's life reach violent ends).

Alas, the movie does not. So, while I think the movie is still worth watching (if only to see the influence of Andrei Tarkovsky), I think it fails the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2024-01-15 14:47:56

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