Analysing Carol (2015) between Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) made for a strange experience. It was as if I had been island hopping and only the second island was populated with women. Cool Hand Luke features two women: the first, a tease without any lines who puts on a show for convicts doing manual labour on a highway, appears in a scene that lasts three minutes; the second, Luke's mother and the only named female character with lines, lies in the back of a truck smoking for a scene that lasts seven minutes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes boasts only one named human female, and although she has a few lines she never speaks to another woman. Moreover, in one scene after she has given her advice she is silenced by a man who says, "Spare me the hippy dippy bullshit." In between, thankfully, I visited Carol island.
Carol (2015) not only passes the Bechdel test with flying colours it is populated with women throughout. They have lots of positive interactions, including intergenerational, and are congenial. It includes a solid friendship that lasts from beginning to end and several caring relationships between women. These are all unusual occurrences for Hollywood. Typically it is antagonism between women that is shown throughout. I know what I'm talking about; I've analysed over 200 movies in depth for this sort of thing.
© 2017 Alline Cormier