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Skyfall... Most Sexist film ever?? *spoliers*

(47 Posts)
jiminyCrick Thu 15-Nov-12 21:04:59

So, I went to see Skyfall last weekend. It was so-so (I did enjoy Casino Royale, but not really any other Bonds)

The film ended and I sat there with my mouth literally hanging open in shock. So to sum up...three main female characters:

One shoots him and becomes a secretary as she can't "handle" field work.
One is an ex-prostitute who he sleeps with and then watches whilst she is shot and killed (and takes a shot himself, hey, you win some you lose some)
One left, the female hope. Oh no wait, she's accused of being shit at her job and is ultimately replaced by a man after being killed.

So the only remaining woman is in the role of secretary (now nothing wrong with being a secretary...but..come ON!) and bond may or may not have had sex with.

you see another woman in the film, but he is just having sex with her.

Yes, not the most important thing in the world..but it's 2012!! How can a film like this be made? How does no one mind?? WTF?

Someone tell me i'm being paranoid please.

kickassangel Wed 28-Nov-12 23:44:43

Whatever it is in reality, in the Bond movies, Moneypenny answers the phone and makes sure that they hang their coats up properly. Although she's an important secretary, it is clear that she IS a typist/receptionist type secretary, not in charge of anything much.

GrendelsMum Wed 28-Nov-12 19:38:27

We may be taking this entirely too seriously, but I'm reminded of a former boss of mine who on the surface of it moved from a senior MoD job to a role in which she checks bits of paper before they leave a building... The key is exactly what bits of paper she's checking!

Do you think we can write to Stella Rimington and ask her to confirm whether this is a promotion for Moneypenny?

Have to say, though - I would have liked to have seen Q as a young woman geek. That would have been ace.

Bue Wed 28-Nov-12 17:59:52

Grendel, I tried looking up the job description. Then I tried looking for current vacancies on the MI6 website grin Not having any inner knowledge of SIS but having worked in government, I too think this is more of a 'special advisor' / senior administrator type role. I got the impression that it was actually a big promotion for Moneypenny.

GrendelsMum Wed 28-Nov-12 17:47:00

I don't think that being secretary to the Head of MI5 is 'just a secretary'. I have a friend whose job title is something like 'Secretary to the Department'. This does not mean she types notes and keeps diaries, it means she's the senior administrator in that branch of the organisation. As she had to explain in detail to the bank when she applied for a new mortgage for a very large sum.

Are we assuming that because a young woman has the job, it must therefore be unimportant wink?

Maybe we should check with someone who works in MI5 - there must be someone on Mumsnet!

Bue Wed 28-Nov-12 15:19:33

While it was portrayed at the end in a deeply dodgy way with the whole 'pencil skirt and a desk outside M's office', Moneypenny becoming secretary to M is really not the same thing as being 'just a secretary'. I think (hope?) we'll see a lot from her in the next film.

And M is a fantastic, strong character.

Didn't like that neither woman could accurately fire a gun though.

recall Wed 28-Nov-12 12:19:37 was a different the shack....when he was lurking and doing scorpion drinking games......

Lottapianos Wed 28-Nov-12 12:18:27

'Stronger and more ruthless than bond who is often seen as flawed'

Actually that's very true Begonia. M doesn't appear to flinch when she has to make tough decisions. She's also totally unimpressed by his posturing. She was a great character and it's a shame she won't be in the next film. I remember what a big deal it was when Judi Dench got the role and how nice it was to see an older woman play that sort of part.

'I don't think in the context of his character there was much surprising about his behaviour in the film'

I agree actually. And James Bond films have always had a pretty disgraceful representation of women - I didn't think this one was any worse than usual.

recall Wed 28-Nov-12 12:15:45

Oh......was that the prostitute...??? Sorry blush Even MORE disgraceful then angryangryangry

BegoniaBampot Wed 28-Nov-12 12:13:51

That makes sense as yes he is emotionally fucked up and doesn't know or seem to care if he will be alive the next day. Sleeping with the prositute just seems out of character with craigs bond as portrayed in the previous two movies. He had seemed to have left the casual bedding of every female in sight behind and seemed a lot more respectful of women.

recall Wed 28-Nov-12 12:13:30

Hang on !!!!! You have forgotten the woman in his bed looking worried when he is sulking and hits the bottle.....fucking disgraceful portrayal of women angry

Bluegrass Wed 28-Nov-12 12:07:06

The toll that the job extracts from Bond, both physically and emotionally, is supposed to be an important character point. The only woman he ever really loves is killed in front of him in a drive by shooting as an act of revenge against him. He is an emotional fuck up who has to murder people for a living, and is constantly getting injured, tortured, facing death etc. He therefore ends up regularly grabbing brief moments of "I could be dead tomorrow" intimacy with women (many of whom are also a bit fucked up, particularly those that know they are jumping into bed with killer!).

I don't think in the context of his character there was much surprising about his behaviour in the film.

BegoniaBampot Wed 28-Nov-12 11:54:35

The only part i agree with is him sleeping with the prostitute. But he wasn't nonchalant about her death but there was nothing he could do and couldn't show weakness. Moneypenny was a strong and capable character who sensibly chose not to follow bond after seeing the toll that work had taken on him. M has probably been the strongest character of all in craigs bond movies. Stronger and more ruthless than bond who is often seen as flawed.

kickassangel Sun 25-Nov-12 00:52:31

Because they are seen as more vulnerable and weaker. Plus, it would have buggered up the ending if the bad guy looked across the moors and said "nothing to see here, let's go"

GrendelsMum Sat 24-Nov-12 19:39:47

I see what you mean - but I was lucky enough to go to a talk by Stella Rimington and to meet her afterwards, and perhaps that gave me a different take on the movie. I'm assuming that M is an excellent intelligence agent, but hasn't spent much time shooting people of recent years, and that Moneypenny's aim is to follow in her footsteps and run the place, rather than leap round shooting people. TBH, I thought that M played by Judi Dench seems like a real person, in comparison to Bond, who is just some all powerful shooting machine.

On the other hand, why on earth did M and the gamekeeper need the torch to go across the moor (which he must have known backwards) when Bond can walk across it in the dark?

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 19:11:19

But both Moneypenny and M attempt to shoot bad guys and fail in the movie. M says she was never a good shot.

GrendelsMum Sat 24-Nov-12 18:07:14

I thought the shot did challenge stereotypes of female behaviour, actually, by showing them making a pragmatic and logical choice rather than an emotional one - in that rather than saying 'oh, we won't risk someone's life', M told the agent to shoot and she did so. I think that if she'd successfully killed the villain and missed Bond, it would have been less of an interesting moment.

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 14:58:27

I blogged about this, but haven't dared mention it as in rl I think most people would say 'it's just Bond, so what do you expect?' or 'it's not real, just a movie, get over it' type thing.

Lottapianos Fri 23-Nov-12 15:14:18

Also in two minds, like choceyes

Hated the Moneypenny bit where she gets a nice little desk job because she 'cant handle' field work. I thought her character was introduced as Bond's equal at the start of the film and it was really frustrating to see her in a nice blue dress behind a desk at the end.

I wish that Judi Dench had been allowed to shoot one of the bad guys. She had a gun and took a shot but missed - because she's only a bird you see and needs looking after? Yuck.

I was disappointed that she was replaced by a man at the end - it all felt a bit deflating.

'Is she not allowed to shag somebody she finds attractive?'
I know what you're saying choceyes but the way it was filmed was problematic, with him barging into her shower rather than her initiating something with him.

Overall, I can't say I found it all that much worse than most Bond films. And try as I might, I just cannot get my head around the idea that Giles Coren gives a shiny fig about anything to do with feminism.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 20-Nov-12 07:11:11

Idk. I think it is an improvement in that the field agent was at least employed and proved to be good at her job, yes she missed the shot but I imagine most people would have? as for her giving up field work, there were lots of blokes around in the mi6 hq who weren't field agents, didn't seem to be singled out because she was a woman.
I much preferred this to the old films where the woman was merely an arm decoration for bond and served no purpose other than to shag him, and provide someone for him to rescue.
I think it's realistic for the time we live in. Yes there are now women working and who are strong characters, but they do still get a whole load of shit about it, and whilst it shows we have come a long way, that we still have a long way to go before women are accepted as equally able, competent and worthy of respect as their male counterparts. Perhaps if bond is still going in another 40 years we will see true equality, maybe a female bond?

Slumberparty Mon 19-Nov-12 16:54:45

Surely getting emotional about it isn't going to help him do his job? It would be so out of character for him to have reacted in any other way I would have thought?

Yes I agree, but some mention of her death later would have showed him to have cared at least a teeny bit!

Secretary of head of MI6 is still a secretary
Why couldn't the tech geek have been a woman?

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 19-Nov-12 16:24:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choceyes Mon 19-Nov-12 15:49:42

Well I saw the film and I was in two minds about it.

M got killed and replaced by a man - why not? Does it matter what their genders were? I didn't think so.

The girl that JB shagged - yes her past was tragic and still held prisoner, but from what I saw she wanted JB, she was pleased when he showed up in the shower wasn't she? Is she not allowed to shag somebody she finds attractive?
And when JB seems unpertubed about her getting killed and the flippant comment about a waste of whiskey, isn't that what a field agent would do? Remain cool and calm? Surely getting emotional about it isn't going to help him do his job? It would be so out of character for him to have reacted in any other way I would have thought?

I was a bit depressed that the young black girl gave up field duty to become a secretary to be honest, and that really does't sit well with me at all. Although DH pointed out that being the secretary to the head of MI6 is not "just being a secretary", and maybe you could look at it that way. And surely no one forced her to become a secretary and it was her own choice too.

Did enjoy the film, but I didn't think there was much of a storyline to it though, not as gripping and tense as some of the others.

Slumberparty Mon 19-Nov-12 15:34:19

I saw this the other day (even tho I have never been a fan of Bond films) and was 'amused' at the scene where the woman Bond was shagging gets shot in the head and there is no reaction from Bond. Later in the film his car gets blown-up, then he is really angry....hmm

samandi Mon 19-Nov-12 12:43:57

Well, it is being touted as a return to “classic Bond” ... hmm Bit depressing that many of my male friends prefer it to the last two.

hmc Thu 15-Nov-12 23:04:49

I think I will still go and see this - to judge for myself, but I don't doubt that you make valid points, and thank you, I will definitely not be taking my impressionable dc now

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