Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 13, 2017

More glowing mainstream reviews of "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women"

The movie about Wonder Woman's polyamorous creator(s) continues to sound mighty good for us polyfolks, one month before its official release. New stuff since my last post:

● A video interview at The Hollywood Reporter: Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote Discuss Polyamory in 'Professor Marston & the Wonder Women'. Also in the interview is the movie's writer-director Angela Robinson, at center:

● A reviewer in the Los Angeles Times: Angela Robinson on a superhero's hidden message of love (Sept. 8)

By Mark Olsen

Timing is a funny thing. If noted psychologist William Moulton Marston and his wife Elizabeth Marston had not both fallen in love with the woman Olive Byrne, would he have gone on to create the character of Wonder Woman?

And if writer-director Angela Robinson had not worked for years researching their story so that her film arrived [coincidentally] a few months after the Wonder Woman character’s blockbuster solo big-screen debut, would audience interest be as high?

Rebecca Hall, left, portrays Elizabeth Marston, Luke Evans is Dr. William Marston and Bella Heathcote is Olive Byrne in "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women." (Claire Folger / Annapurna Pictures)

The three central actors... evince a mix of screwball savvy, deeply felt emotions and a playful seductiveness.... and the performances bolster the movie’s unusual tone and the way in which Robinson subtly shifts the perspective of the storytelling from one character to another.

...“I wanted the audience to be on the ride of what it would be like to fall in love with these people,” [Robinson] said. “I didn’t want to other-ize their experience, I wanted to make it as romantic and accessible as possible. ... I wanted it to be, ‘I want them to be together, I could see how that could happen and in a different set of circumstances it could happen to me.’ I think the actors felt the same, and they dove in with passion and commitment and emotional honesty, and were just having fun with the love story. And that’s what shines through.”

...“Part of me just wanted to tell a love story. Wonder Woman became politicized after the fact, but I really wanted to try in the most straightforward way to tell the simplest of love stories between these three people. They have issues with the world over what they’re feeling, but their love for each other was very pure and honest.”

As for her three lead actors, Robinson cast them without ever seeing them interact. She was nervous when they first met for a table read of the script, and then knocked out by the electric chemistry they shared.

“It’s rare that you meet three people who come together who are all as committed,” Robinson said. “It’s just the three of them in so many scenes together. I wanted the drama to come from every little look or touch or thought or how they were reacting to each other.”...

Actor Rebecca Hall, left, and director Angela Robinson on the set of "Professor
Marston and the Wonder Women." (Claire Folger / Annapurna Pictures)

Slashfilm.com: A Funny, Sexy Superhero Origin Story (Sept. 10)

By Chris Evangelista

....Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’s biggest flaw is how stringently it adheres to standard biopic formulas, moving from point A to point B predictably and frequently employing montages to hurry the timeline along. Yet this flaw is easily overcome by the chemistry of its three leads.

Evans is charming and likable as William, a man wholly confident in his emotions and desires who cannot be bothered with what society may think. Heathcote, as Olive, does fine work here, playing a character who blossoms before our eyes from shy and reserved to open and adventurous. And then there’s Hall, who is astoundingly good as the brash, somewhat conflicted Elizabeth. Hall is one of the very best actresses working today; a performer who deserves far more renown and recognition than she’s received. Perhaps Professor Marston and the Wonder Women will change that. It should, because Hall commands the screen, appearing in almost every scene. We can’t take our eyes off her as she both gives in to her lusts and desires and also tries to run from them. It’s one of the best performances you’ll see all year.

The three performers have dynamite chemistry together, and their relationship feels genuine.

...A lesser film might have approached the sexual situations that arise from the relationship in a more exploitative manner. But under the sharp directorial eye of Angela Robinson, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women find just the right note, creating sensitive, passionate and altogether sexy sequences where the trio make love to each other. The very first time the three give in and act on their sexual feelings is shot impeccably, set on the stage in abandoned drama class, the three individuals exploring each other and learning what turns each other on.

As Professor Marston and the Wonder Women draws to a close, you’ll find yourself wanting more. The film seems to be rushing towards its conclusion, and some more time spent with some supporting characters, like comic book pioneer Max Gaines (played here by Oliver Platt) would’ve done the film so good. In addition, a framing device, which has William defending Wonder Woman to the head of the Child Study Association of America (Connie Britton) ultimately fizzles out.

Still, it’s hard not to fall for this film. It’s so good natured in its portrayal of the relationship between William, Elizabeth and Olive that it becomes an ultimately sweet, charming film. Here, the superheroes aren’t comic book characters, but flesh and blood humans who dared to embrace a healthy love that society saw as corrupt and indecent. That’s the type of bravery that makes heroes.

Film Rating: 8 out of 10

● The BBC takes note in a TV report: The surprising origins of Wonder Woman (Sept. 12)

Two of the films attracting the most buzz at the Toronto Film Festival — about how Wonder Woman was created and a female artist who painted Sitting Bull — are directed by women. ... Tom Brook talks to BBC Culture deputy editor Christian Blauvelt and film reporter Emma Jones about these films....

Boise Weekly: TIFF 2017: The Sexy True Story Behind Wonder Woman (Sept. 12)

...They were a testament to survival against the dark undercurrents of repression still plague society to this day. Their story is the foundation for this fascinating film. It's intellectual, provocative and sexy as hell, and it will certainly be one of the most talked about films of this fall.

All my posts about the movie (including this one; scroll down).

Once again: Let's plan our public responses for when this movie hits theaters October 13th.




Anonymous Jennifer Juniper said...

Interesting that the main criticisms are that it portrays a polyfamily too blandly, like it was made of normal people or something.

September 14, 2017 12:07 AM  

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