How Many Of The ‘Best’ Films Of The 21st Century Pass The Bechdel Test?

The BBC have got critics to create a list of the best films of the 21st century. But how many pass the Bechdel Test?

How Many Of The 'Best' Films Of The 21st Century Pass The Bechdel Test?

by Jess Commons |
Published on

So, turns out Mullholland Drive is the best film of the 21st century.

According to a new survey conducted by the BBC that took the opinions of 177 critics into consideration, David Lynch's surreal noir film is the best film made since 2000.

Also in the top ten? There Will Be Blood, Spirited Away, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Tree Of Life.

My own personal feelings about Tree Of Life aside (do yourself a favour and run far away from anyone with copy on DVD), there's one really rather positive thing about this list that sticks out. See, over half the films pass the Bechdel Test.

If you're still in the dark about the Bechdel Test, it's simple manner of determining how much thought has been put into female character development. To pass, the film is required to feature two women, who have a conversation, about something other than a man.

Plenty of huge films don't pass. Things like Lord of the Rings (all three of them), every Harry Potter film except the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Run Lola Run...

Out of 102 films on this list, using the the help of, 52 pass, 39 fail, and 12 are unknown.

Here's the results.

1 Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001) Yes

2 In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000) Yes

3 There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) No

4 Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)Yes

5 Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)Yes

6 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004 No

7 The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)No

8 Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000) Unknown

9 A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011) Yes

10 Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013) No

10 No Country For Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007) Yes

12 Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006) Yes

12 Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) No

14 The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012) Unknown

15 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007) Yes

16 Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012) No

17 Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006) No

18 The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) Yes

19 Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) Yes

20 Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)Yes

21 The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)No

22 Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)Unknown

22 Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)Yes

24 The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)No

25 Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2001) No

26 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)No

27 The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)No

28 Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002) Yes

  1. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)No

30 Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)No

31 Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)Yes

32 The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)No

33 Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)Unknown

33 The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) Yes

35 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)Yes

36 Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)Yes

37 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010) Yes

38 City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)No

39 The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)Yes

39 Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) No

41 Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)Yes

42 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)Yes

42 Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012) Yes

42 Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)Yes

45 Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)Yes

45 Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)Yes

45 Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)Yes

48 Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015) Yes

49 Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)Unknown

  1. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)Yes

49 The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)Unknown

52 Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004) No

53 Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)Yes

53 Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)No

53 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011) No

56 Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000)Unknown

56 Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012) Yes

58 A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)Yes

58 Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, 2009) Yes

58 Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembene, 2004) Unknown

58 Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)unknown

58 Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) No

63 Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)Yes

63 The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013) No

63 The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)Unknown

66 Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)No

66 The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)No

68 Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)Yes

68 The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)Yes

70 Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)Yes

70 Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)Yes

72 Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)No

72 Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013) Yes

74 Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012) Yes

75 Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003) Yes

75 Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)No

75 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)No

78 Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)Yes

78 The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)Unknown

78 The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)Yes

81 A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)No

81 A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)No

81 A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)No

81 Her (Spike Jonze, 2013) No

81 Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)No

86 Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)Yes

86 Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)Yes

88 Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)No

89 The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008) Yes

90 Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)No

90 Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)No

90 Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)Yes

90 Ratatouille (Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava, 2007)No

90 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)No

90 The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)No

90 The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)No

97 Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002) Yes

97 The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000) Yes

97 White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)Yes

100 Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) Unknown

100 Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)Yes

100 Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016) Yes

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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