Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
This film gives dignity to a ménage a trois. Interested?
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, directed by Angela Robinson, is an intriguing, R-rated film that tells the story of how the comic sensation Wonder Woman was created. Covering a time largely set in Boston from the 1920s through 1947, it tells the tale of a romantic relationship usually confined to cheap pornographic films.
Here, Luke Evans, who recently gave a sensational performance in this year’s Beauty and the Beast, plays Dr. William Marston, a Harvard psychology professor. He teaches a largely female class on the relationship of men and women, and is immediately attracted to Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) a sensual, beautiful student.
A relationship between the two develops, which becomes a problem given the fact that Dr. Marston is married to an intelligent, sardonic woman who is fighting for her doctorate in a world dominated by men that Harvey Weinstein would admire. Her name is Elizabeth, and Rebecca Hall’s performance dominates the film at every turn.
Based on a true story, problems develop for our married couple when they both fall in love with Olive. All three are very smart people, and they soon find a way to make their triumvirate work.
However, disaster falls when Dr. Marston is fired from his job and the two loves of his life are dismissed from school. Given that Olive is pregnant, they fight to find a way to continue to make a living while continuing to live as a family.
Both our star leading ladies are wonderful actresses, and you may have previously seen Ms. Heathcote in Not Fade Away (2012) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016). Quite frankly, Ms. Hall has become one of my favorite actresses on the big screen, and it is worth hunting down her prior performances in Closed Circuit (2013) and The Gift (2015) among others. Here, they add sincerity to multiple sexual encounters between a husband, wife and a mutual lover, and as a result the film explores territory seldom seen with such honesty in a major film.
As our threesome explores sexuality involving whips and chains among other things, Dr. Marston is inspired to create the legendary comic book character known as Wonder Woman. Though he is motivated by showing the strength and character of a woman in a society dominated by men, it is fascinating to see the animosity displayed by a large segment of the American populace when forced to confront his creation.
Though I really liked this film, I must admit that it won’t appeal to many of you. Given the fact that Dr. Marston also helped perfect the lie detector, he quickly discovers how it could be used by an angry spouse to test his mate’s honesty. If that was mandated in every married household, how many marriages would survive?