Do you think woman are represented accurately in Mike Nichols films, for example in the Graduate (1967) or Closer (2004)?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Nichols' films represent women in a variety of ways.  Certainly, the way in which they are shown in the two mentioned would represent one extreme.  Mrs. Robinson, for example, is the penultimate schemer and lacks any sense of moral right or wrong.  In contrast, Elaine seems to be duped or shown one thing when it is really another, and save for the ending, she really does not strike one as a strong woman.  The same can be said for the women in "Closer" as well.  However, Nichols does depict women in a more powerful light in films such as "Working Girl" and "Angels in America."  Tess, in the former, is the embodiment of the woman who struggles, but also find redemption in the belief of self.  While the business world and romantic world might objectify her, she is not one to acquiesce to it and rather strives to rise above it.  In the latter, the complex nature of women- both worldly and divine- reflects the intricate nature of human beings.  There is little in this depiction which is totalizing in terms of accurate or inaccurate.  Women, as with men, are shown to be complex characters who are capable of causing and enduring great pain, but also alleviating suffering and the source of great compassion.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nichols is a talented director, but he is only one man with one perspective on women. So, of course, he does not accurately portray women. He does not have a vantage point that is better than other people. Moreover, he is not a woman! So, the best that we can say is that he offers one perspective, his perspective. Also one must question if there is such a thing as a standard women that can be accurately portrayed. It is very easy to make an argument that people are so different that general statement are not very helpful. When we add cultural elements into this, things get even more complicated.