Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

ProfessorMarston

Directed By: Angela Robinson
Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Monica Giordano, JJ Field, Chris Conroy, Oliver Platt, Maggie Castle, et. al.
Rating: R
Grade: B+

Professor of Psychology and inventor, William Moulton Marston, finds his life turned upside down after a three-way affair between himself, his wife Elizabeth, and their assistant/mistress Olive Byrne gets them all kicked off the Harvard campus. Needing purpose after losing his livelihood, Marston attempts to make a living as an author, eventually coming up with an idea for the superhero Wonder Woman, through which he would attempts to instill his, at the time, unheard of and highly controversial theories about psychology and sexuality into the mainstream. However, after his private life is once again made public, Marston fights not only to keep control of his creation, but to keep his unusual family intact.

This movie had the potential to be something great. Instead, it seems to be attempting to ride to coattails of the success of the Wonder Woman movie. It focuses less on the creation of the heroine, and more on the unusual sexual practices of her creator, with an unnecessarily long section of the movie dedicated to the trio discovering and engaging in light BDSM and roleplay. The storytelling format is something of a stilted flashback, with large portions of the story being broken up by Ethics Board meeting Marston is attending until the movie catches up with itself. The acting is well-done. Despite that all three lead characters are American, only Heathcote manages to completely mask her accent. Evans’ accent only slips occasionally when his voice is raised. Hall, however, can’t seem to find a grip on her accent, though it doesn’t really detract from the story itself.

The effects are almost entirely background filler, and are not really noticeable.

The movie itself isn’t entirely a wash. So long as you can look past the, in my opinion, unnecessary focus on polyamorous relationship, it’s interesting to see the circumstances that led to the creation of the world’s first, and still most popular, female superhero. However, like most based-on-a-true-story movies, there are some dramatizations made, and it should be noted that descendants of both the Marstons and Olive Byrne have denied the nature of the relationship between the three presented by the movie. That aside, someone looking for an interesting drama based on the real events that led to the creation of a superhero should like this movie.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is currently free to stream through Hulu, and can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.

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