Pop Culture & Masculinity: Fantastic Beasts

I just randomly found this video (after watching something else on YouTube), and while I know the reaction to Fantastic Beasts was mixed, it’s just such a great critique of both the film and other Hollywood portrayals of men. Good stuff.


wow, this was really good. i really enjoyed the movie, and i was so puzzled why it got so much scorn, and especially why people didn’t like Redmayne’s portrayal. full disclosure, the point at the end when Newt is telling the guy why he kept him around STILL makes me openly cry. so Newt is in my masculinity wheelhouse, i guess you’d say.


That was absolutely worth watching.
Thank you.

I’m also now much more interested in seeing a movie from a franchise that never really engaged me. So there’s that, too. Nice one.


I liked the video, but as a queer person I tend to think of gender stereotypes as a chronic trap. For example, why assume that the actor was performing masculinity through the character at all? So many of the stereotypes I agree are harmful, but my response has always been to avoid them, rather than replacing them with a better stereotype which is bound to also be oversimplified and misunderstood in other ways.

I see genders having a certain kind of personality as weirdly stilted as others would see identities based upon hair color, height, blood type, or any number of other characteristics. It takes some discipline to interpret a character as written without projecting upon them one’s own expectations. To assume that gender by default is not relevant to the story, unless it explicitly is.

1 Like

For what it’s worth, I had the same thought, but I think that that was first as a hook to give the people who haven’t thought the gender-binary all-the-way-through, a way in, and also that it helped as a useful point of comparison against the forms of blatant macho masculinity that movie companies and producers tend to insist on. (And that this movie seems to be pushing against - seriously, I want to see it now :slight_smile:)

I mean, many of the characteristics I saw displayed by the lead in that short, align with the damn reductive stereotypes of movie feminine traits, but that’s a further landmine.

By which I mean I agree about the assumption of masculinity, and expect (hope) that in another ten years, the general understanding will have moved on enough that they’d be able to make the same points without that same crutch.

[Edit: Two Three minor tweaks, for clarity.]


We saw the movie and loved it! Not sure why people would hate it.


I loved the movie and his character. His non-standard masculinity never actually stood out to me until seeing this post. I did notice his spectrum like behaviors and appreciated it was just part of his character and not part of the plot. I hope they keep him front and center for the rest of the films.


My daughter and I enjoyed the movie, but we both felt the climactic battle descended too far into noisy, chaotic, loud, Avengers-Battle-of-New-York territory, all CGI sound and fury signifying nothing.

But the performances were swell.