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Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) movie poster Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Theatrical Release: October 13, 2017 / Running Time: 108 Minutes / Rating: R

Writer/Director: Angela Robinson

Cast: Luke Evans (William Moulton Marston), Rebecca Hall (Elizabeth Marston), Bella Heathcote (Olive Byrne), Connie Britton (Josette Frank), Monica Giordano (Mary), JJ Feild (Charles Guyette), Chris Conroy (Brant Gregory), Oliver Platt (M.C. Gaines), Maggie Castle (Dorothy Roubicek), Alexa Havins (Molly Stewart)

 

With this summer's blockbuster returning Wonder Woman to the greatest relevance she's had in at least forty years, what better time than now to learn about her creator in biopic form? Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
tells the story of the DC Comics superhero's creator William Moulton Marston and the two women in his life that inspired the character. Part of it evokes films like Finding Neverland and Saving Mr. Banks. But it's more than just a creator finding inspiration and it's not just another tale of creativity overcoming obstacles.

Written and directed by Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.), who picks up her first theatrical credit since 2005's Herbie: Fully Loaded, Professor Marston bounces between 1928 and 1945. In the former, Marston (Luke Evans) is a professor at Harvard's all-female Radcliffe College. He teaches the trailblazing coeds about the DISC model of behaviors: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. Meanwhile, his educated wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) helps out. Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), a bright and attractive student, threatens to come between them when she is picked as the professor's intern.

"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" dramatizes the unconventional polyamorous lifestyle of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), his student Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), and his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall).

Instead, both Marston and his neurotic wife find themselves attracted to the young blonde, who is engaged to a man. The unconventional polyamorous relationship born out of this two-directional love triangle is one focus of the film. In 1945, Marston is asked to defend his depictions of bondage and such in youth-oriented comics by Josette Frank (Connie Britton). Along the way, the Marstons also develop the lie detector, but do not patent it or profit off it.

For centering on the introduction of the star of the summer's best-attended and most unanimously acclaimed films,
Professor Marston is surprisingly not a safe or mainstream biography. It's rated R for language and some sex and Robinson, whose debut film was an espionage action-comedy that tackled lesbianism, does not shy from the kinky aspects of Marston's life that you assume would have precluded him from creating one of the most iconic superheroes of all time.

Some of it feels like a stretch to fit biopic mold, like Marston having to defend his work or watch sadly as children gleefully burn his comics in a bonfire. The end credits' photographs of the real parties reveal even though this is an independent film hailing from Megan Ellison's praiseworthy Annapurna Pictures, it's Hollywood as hell at least in casting 38-year-old Evans as Marston and doing nothing to age him into his fifties.

Though it's opening in fall and kind of fits the notion of a prestige movie, Professor Marston is way too minor and ineffective to feature anywhere but on the fringes of Hollywood's award season.

Related Reviews:
Now in Theaters: Battle of the Sexes The Florida Project Wonderstruck Brad's Status
Luke Evans: Beauty and the Beast (2017) The Girl on the Train Fate of the Furious High-Rise The Raven
Bella Heathcote: The Rewrite The Neon Demon Dark Shadows In Time Not Fade Away
Rebecca Hall: Tumbledown Lay the Favorite Please Give Transcendence Iron Man 3
Directed by Angela Robinson: Herbie: Fully Loaded
Wonder Woman (2017) Finding Neverland Saving Mr. Banks

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Reviewed October 13, 2017.



Text copyright 2017 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2017 Annapurna Pictures, Stage 6 Films, Topple Pictures, and Boxspring Entertainment. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.