Live Poll: Oscar Best Picture Nominees and Women

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Much has been said about the absence of racial diversity in Oscar nominees over the years. Fortunately, the 2017 Oscars did a much better job recognizing the accomplishments of minorities. What about women in Hollywood movies, in general, though? The Bechdel Test measures the presence of women in film. It tests a very low bar and yet many movies fail it. The criteria: 1) Are at least two women (named characters) in it? 2) Do they talk to each other?... 3) About something other than a man?

Below are the nominees for the Best Picture Oscar from 2012 - 2017, that pass the Bechdel Test (27 out of 54 films passed and most just barely). Some, it could be and often is argued, pass the test only by "the letter of the law," rather than the broader intention: Are women with agency represented in the film? Which nominated film below do you think passes the spirit of the Bechdel Test the best?
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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Boyhood (2014)
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As well-received as the Best Picture to Moonlight was, it was also used to point out the mysoginy of the Academy that snubbed Carol from a Best Picture nomination the year before. I guess you can't make everyone happy especially in these divisive days. By the day, a movie about Black lesbians wins the Best Picture Oscar, some will ask: how about Latinos? how about Transsexuals?

Indeed, it seems like these days, movies are judged on the basis of their sociological themes rather than the level of cinematic excellence they reach or their emotional effect, it's like any movie that deals with gender, race or sexuality  is automatically worthy of respect and admiration just because it handled an important theme. The Help is sure an "important" film theme-wise, but it doesn't hold a candle to The Color Purple, just like Moonlight is not Brokeback Mountain. But this new obsession with minorities will certainly encourage opportunistic filmmakers to make movies with good themes but for the wrong reasons, just because it's the 'thing' that makes you win awards or at least increases your notability on Hollywood map.

And I believe that Bechdel test is extremely flawed and here's why:
- it omits one important element:  there should be woman in the lead, I'm surprised they didn't think about that. Argo might pass the test, but I don't remember any woman playing a significant role in the film, the same goes with Lincoln where the most important female roles are the wives and that's an aspect you can find in any male-driven film.
- "A woman talks with another woman" and "not about a man"? So, La La Land passes the test because at some point, Mia talks with her friends (girls with sexy mini-skirts) about her failed audition and because she has a few exchanges with her boss? How about talking with a female character with a more valuable role? How about saying that the two women talk together and you can see them talking with other women in later scenes?
- The Bechdel test has a quantitative approach, it makes you believe that only a film that passes the Bechdel test respects women or gives them the importance they deserve, well, here's a counter-example: The Wolf of Wall Street, a film I love but that shows hookers being banged in public and flight attendants being harrassed, passes the Bechdel test, but not a movie like Spike Jonze's Her, which one would appeal to women more?

In the early days, movies like Jezebel, Mrs. Miniver or The Little Foxes were made without any 'test' in mind, and I'd rather have 5 excellent female-driven movies out of 100  than 50 that just pass the Bechdel test. 1991 had a Best Picture winner with a bad-ass female lead who didn't look Ellen Ripley, it had Thelma and Louise and it had a gem like Fried Green Tomatoes, I don't remember any from 1992, but that's not quantity that matters, it's the fact that the few movie about empowered women stood the test of time. Today, it's like every year should have its share of empowering movies, movies about minorities etc.

How about non comedic movies about average-schmucks who look nothing like Gary-or-Bradley-Cooper-and-are-not-Woody-Allen? Can someone like Jonah Hill dream to have a leading role in a film that is not a comedy? There should be a Bechdel test for non-attractive-guys (overweight, short and/or with glasses), now, that's a minority that is severely snubbed in Oscar contenders.
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My vote: Hidden Figures (2016)
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Mine too
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The Help
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I didn't vote because I find this Bechdel Test thing dumb. 
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Congratulations rubyfruit76 on your 92nd live poll!
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