How many of this year's Oscar nominees pass the Bechdel test. Not many.
January 17, 2014
Judging by the winners’ speeches at last Sunday’s Golden Globes, 2013 was a banner year for ladies in cinema — everyone from Amy Adams to Cate Blanchett praised their writers for including strong female roles.
But on closer look, many of the year’s best pictures fail the the most rudimentary test of gender equity in film. It’s called the “Bechdel test,” so named for its creator, cartoonist Alison Bechdel, and it has only three tenets: Does the film have at least two named women? Do they speak to each other? And do they speak about something that isn’t a man?
There’s actually a financial incentive for filmmakers to correct this problem; in early January, writers at Vocativ ran the numbers on the top-grossing films of 2013 and found that female-friendly movies usually fared better at the box office than those that marginalized women. Those top-performing films included movies like “Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” and Disney’s animated feature “Frozen,” which have both been lauded for their portrayal of women.