PRO­FES­SOR MARSTON AND THE WON­DER WOMEN

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 10 Novem­ber 15 | 107 min­utes Di­rec­tor an­gela robin­son Cast luke evans, re­becca Hall, bella Heath­cote, Con­nie brit­ton

Wil­liam Moulton Marston was a bit of a kinky bug­ger, and you can see his sex­ual pro­cliv­i­ties laid bare in the Won­der Woman sto­ries he wrote in the ’40s. There’s bondage, spank­ing, dom­i­na­tion, sub­mis­sion... enough to get the au­thor­i­ties sniff­ing around him. As if that wasn’t enough, he had a polyamorous re­la­tion­ship with his wife El­iz­a­beth (Re­becca Hall) and their stu­dent Olive (Bella Heath­cote).

It’s an in­trigu­ing setup, but the ex­e­cu­tion is un­even. The film can’t de­cide if it wants to be a love story, a kink-fest or a hymn to Won­der Woman – and in try­ing to split it­self, the re­sult is ei­ther too heart­felt, awk­wardly erotic or con­fus­ing (Marston’s ar­gu­ments about how Won­der Woman is “em­pow­er­ing women” be­cause she sub­mits to Steve Trevor make no sense what­so­ever).

It’s still en­joy­able, though, and Hall in par­tic­u­lar gives a mes­meric per­for­mance as El­iz­a­beth, a spiky fem­i­nist in an era that couldn’t com­pre­hend such a thing. You might not learn much about Won­der Woman that you didn’t al­ready know, but you’ll cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate the courage of those who fought against the norms of so­ci­ety in a less en­light­ened age. Jayne Nel­son

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