“Ugly bitches stay home” — Bechdel testing 2012 … so far

Thursday March 8th 2012


Fancy a trip to the cinema this evening to celebrate International Women’s Day? Assuming you’re under 75 and therefore disinterested in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, your options are few and far between. Safe House? Ghost Rider 2? The Woman in Black? None of them are exactly bursting with interesting female characters, even if they do seem relatively innocuous compared with 2012’s reigning misogyny-fest Project X, from which this blog post takes its title.

The time has come to put the movies of 2012 to the test, or more specifically, the Bechdel test.

Designed to assess the presence of women in cinema, the Bechdel test requires a movie to satisfy three simple criteria:

  1. It must have at least two female characters.
  2. They must talk to each other …
  3. … about something other than a man.

Listed below are all of 2012’s UK theatrical releases thus far (excluding documentaries and re-releases). I’ve labelled the ones I’ve seen either green (for a pass) or red (for a fail) but I need your help to complete the database. If you’ve seen any of the movies I haven’t, get in touch via Twitter or e-mail and let me know how they fare. Together we can complete this inevitably depressing picture.

UPDATE: We did it! All 81 scored:

Goon
The Iron Lady
Mother and Child
Players

The Darkest Hour
Margin Call
Nanban
Shame
Tatsumi
A Useful Life
Vettai
War Horse

Haywire
Coriolanus
J. Edgar
The Nine Muses
Red Light Revolution
The Sitter
Underworld: Awakening
W./E.
X: Night of Vengeance

Agneepath
Acts of Godfrey
Alls Well That Ends Well
The Descendants
The Grey
House of Tolerance
Intruders
Like Crazy
Mercenaries
A Monster in Paris

Chronicle
Best Laid Plans
Bombay Beach
Carnage
Jack and Jill
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Man on a Ledge
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Young Adult

American Evil
Big Miracle
A Dangerous Method
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
Girl Model
The Muppets
The Vow
The Woman in Black

Ek Deewana Tha
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Hadewijch
ID: A
The Woman in the Fifth

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Black Gold
Blood Car
Deviation
Naachle London
One for the Money
Rampart
Red Dog
Safe House
Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya
The Adopted

Carancho
Hunky Dory
If Not Us, Who?
London, Paris, New York
Michael
Project X
This Means War
Wanderlust

A Man’s Story
Bel Ami
Cleanskin
Hard Boiled Sweets
John Carter
Payback Season
The Raven
Trishna