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FILM REVIEW Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2017-10-09

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Director: Angela Robinson. Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote

Time: 108 minutes. Release: Oct. 13

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women tells the story of psychologist William Moulton Marston and the progressive relationship between him, his wife and mistress. The Wonder Woman comic book is created in the process and what goes on behind closed doors at Harvard's Radcliffe college office is extremely intriguing to watch.

The tale is not told in a traditional way—matching this very untraditional love story. It may make some viewers wonder how many of these types of relationships exist today and why a trio is not more widely accepted. It could be more common than we know about and a movie like this brings the ancient subject into the spotlight.

Now 75 years later, the iconic Wonder Woman is back on top again thanks to Gal Gadot and the gang. With this timely new drama we can see how the character has evolved from her humble beginnings. Ever wonder why the magic lasso compels people to tell the truth? The mystery is solved here with this different kind of superhero movie. The Roman mythology inspiration and tidbits like Wonder Woman losing her powers when her bracelets are tied together all make complete sense now.

Oscar loves a true story, and I would hope this would be nominated for some technical awards for the '40s period costumes at least. Some may know lesbian Chicago filmmaker Angela Robinson from writing and directing True Blood and The L Word. Her 2004 endeavor D.E.B.S. was quite popular in the LGBT community. During awards seasons we could possibly see more than one female director nominated for a change.

Actor Luke Evans—who has wrestled personally with coming out—must identify with a character that's in the closet in his polymorphous relationship. The charming Marston was a strong feminist and he takes a backseat in a film that allows the women to shine. Submission and dominance are the names of the game here, and it's all tastefully executed.

Rebecca Hall is riveting as his wife, Elizabeth Marston. Check her out in the television-reporter movie Christine if there is any doubt of what this talented performer can do.

Australian actress Bella Heathcote is all tied up again, after Fifty Shades Darker, as a character who is complex in many ways. The camera loves her, and it is no wonder they all fall in love with the magnetic Olive Byrne. When she dons a version of the colorful costume it is truly a magic moment. Bracelets should be on runways everywhere these days as high fashion and representation of empowerment.

Without this trio of performances, the story would fall apart. It is all tied neatly together with Marston defending his comic and, more importantly, his lifestyle to conservatives played by Oliver Platt and Connie Britton.

Robinson has created a prideful piece about letting go of the shame of being different. For those of us who don't fit into a neat little box in society, this Wonder will hit home.


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