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 Shape of Water (2017) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Don't Mind Me Now on 2017-12-19 00:59:52.



Don't Mind Me Now said:
In Zelda's first scene, when she allows Elisa to punch in in front of her, Yolanda chastises her, and Zelda responds by claiming she was saving Elisa's spot, leading to a short argument.
Message posted on 2017-12-19 00:59:52
jamescb2 said:
The rules specifically say "talk", so does sign language count? If so, Zelda and Elisa talk constantly. And is the creature technically a man because he has a penis? If so, then a lot of the movie is talking about him, or their boss. (Obviously sign language is still talking, just trying to debate, but I find it funny how technically borderline both situations are.
Message posted on 2018-03-19 06:18:44
Karto said:
Sign language counts! There's nothing in the rules about what language the two named women need to speak.
Message posted on 2018-05-08 11:31:16
1010 disagreed with the rating and said:
Hell no, this movie do not pass the test, both females characters establish a communication, one through sign language, the other woman can speak. They do talk about men, if you count the creature as a male and also Zelda (Octavia Spencer) talk about her husband and their marriage.
Message posted on 2018-05-18 01:51:16
Joseph Chastain said:
It doesn’t matter if they DO talk about men. If they have one conversation not about a man, the movie passes
Message posted on 2018-06-03 10:11:28
mbvklc said:
If you think this movie doesn't pass only because Elisa uses sign language, you're probably ableistic asshole and you need to rethink your approach to the whole social justice thing.
Message posted on 2018-12-15 13:34:01
msully said:
This movie is produced and directed by Guillermo del Toro, and received many Oscar nominations and won many of those awards in 2017. The main protagonist is a mute woman named Elisa, who works in a government lab as a janitor. Her main character arc is that she falls in love with the sea creature that is being studied/tortured at the government lab, and wants to free him. With the help of her coworker, Zelda, and her neighbor, Giles, Elisa and the sea creature barely escape back into the water.

There are three minority representations in the film. One being Zelda, the other being Elisa (as she is mute), and Giles (a closeted gay man). Nearly everyone else in the movie is a cis white man. What was funny to me is that while Elisa's love interest is a mythical sea creature, the film makes it obviously clear that he is male, specifically when Zelda asks Elisa if he has a penis.

This film had a few moments of "male gaze", specifically towards the beginning. We see Elisa getting ready, undressing, and masturbating in the bath tub, along with a few other instances of female nudity.

The Shape of Water passes the Bechdel test, but just barely. Zelda and Elisa generally talk about Zelda's husband, the other men at the facility, or the (male) sea creature, but there is one scene where Zelda is talking to another woman about how she is holding Elisa's place in the clock-in line.
Message posted on 2020-02-04 02:22:34

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