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]] Coco (2017) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Katie on 2017-11-29 03:38:30.



Katie said:
This movie strongly centers on Miguel and his family. His family is quite matriarchal, with family members looking to his great great grandmother for guidance and approval. And his grandmother seems to be the most authoritative out of his living relatives. There are conversations between the female members of Miguel’s family, but they are about Miguel.
Message posted on 2017-11-29 03:38:31
Legi said:
Coco is an example of why the bechdel test isn’t a great indicator for how feminist a movie is. Though the movie is centered around a matriarchal family and showcases many strong women, they just happen to not talk about anything other than the main character, a young boy, and this makes sense in the context of the movie. Overall it was an absolutely beautiful movie.
Message posted on 2017-12-09 17:00:29
Marcus said:
There is a small conversation towards the end of the film between Mama Coco and Abuelita Elena with Coco asking what's wrong when Elena starts crying to which Elena replies nothing is wrong it's a small conversation between two named women characters but it counts surely there's also another instance where Mama Imelda is arguing with a female immigration agent for supposedly not having her picture on the ofrenda
Message posted on 2017-12-13 23:27:51
Christine said:
Though she's only listed as "Abuelita" in the credits, Mama Coco even names her off as "Elena." Mama Coco and Abuelita/Elena have two verbal exchanges (one at the beginning and the other just before the end.) In the first exchange Mama Coco does not recognize Abuelita due to her increasing forgetfulness, asking, "Who are you?" However, at the end of the film after Coco has sung "Remember Me" with Miguel, Mama Coco turns to Abuelita and asks, "Elena, why are you crying?" Abuelita/Elena answers that it's nothing.
Message posted on 2017-12-17 22:31:11
Marcus said:
I disagree with the rating and think that the movie passes all three of the requirements. Towards the end of the film there's a small conversation between Mama Coco and Abuelita Elena where Elena starts crying and Coco asks her what is wrong, to which Elena replies nothing is wrong. If the women needed to be named more, their family's last name, Riviera, is said a few times towards the beginning of the film. There's also a longer conversation with Mama Imelda and a female immigration officer where they talk about Imelda not having her picture on the ofrenda and that being the reason why she can't cross the bridge and Imelda is arguing against that claim, however the officer is unnamed, but I still think it passes the test.
Message posted on 2017-12-18 00:36:42
Audrey said:
Actually, near the end of the movie, there's this exchange:

Coco: Elena? What's wrong, mija?
Elena: Nothing, Mamá. Nothing at all.
Message posted on 2017-12-18 21:00:10
Katie said:
Mama Coco and Abuelita speak to each other at the end. Mama Coco asks Abuelita why she’s crying and Abuelita says “nada mama”.
Message posted on 2017-12-19 01:20:12
Kelly said:
Toward the end, Mama Coco notices that Abuelita Elena is crying and says "Elena? What's wrong, mija?" Elena replies "Nothing, nothing at all." I think that counts.
Also, earlier in the movie, Mama Imelda talks to a female agent in the Department of Family Reunions about not being able to cross over. But I guess that doesn't count because the agent isn't named.
Message posted on 2017-12-21 08:08:36
neil (webmaster) said:
I've updated the rating from 2/3 to 3/3.
Message posted on 2017-12-25 20:48:11
Silvercatmon said:
This is a beautiful movie. Female presence is abounding, even though it about a boy and a male ancestry. This is the kind of movies that should be made. This is the kind of movies that would be made if Hollywood was really equal in the treatment of women and minority. This is a feminist movie. I loved at one point, when the family told Miguel he would learn show making and they mentioned he could be like an Aunt in how he made a certain style, then like an Uncle in other style. They speak as if there wouldn’t be any shame being like that Aunt. Even though he didn’t want to be a shoemaker.
The power of family and women is so much in the film. No one in the family, male or female was being mean on purpose to Miguel, they thought they were doing what was best for him, even though they really were hurting Miguel. In the end family and happiness means everything to every member of the family.
Message posted on 2018-06-17 01:37:29
Drew Olds said:
This film is a really interesting grey area film.

The Bechdel test was conceived as a protest against the way that most female characters are defined by their relationships to male characters- as mothers, daughters, love interests, etc.

This is a film about familial roles.
Most characters are defined largely by their role in the family- to the extent that it is easier to talk about them as "grandmother" and "great grandmother" instead of using their names (even when one of them is the title role).

The family roles that the women take are traditional without being submissive. On both sides (living and dead) a woman is the clear leader of the family.

Which makes for an interesting model for non sexist traditional family roles.

In addition, the pass/fail Bechdel test comes back with a lot of grey area.

-There are definitely more than two named women, and they definitely talk to one another.
- In almost every instance of named women speaking to one another, they're clearly talking about a man (either Miguel or Papa/Hector or both).
- One exchange might pass, but it depends on your reading of it:

Coco: Elena? What's wrong, mija?
Elena: Nothing, Mamá. Nothing at all.

I feel like they're not literally talking about 'nothing.' So most of the subject of this exchange is left to context.

Elena is crying because her mother's return to lucidity and health- brought on by Coco's memories of Hector. So is the exchange about Hector?

I'd come down on the side that the exchange is about Coco, but I don't find it to be so clear cut.
Message posted on 2018-12-04 22:10:21

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