The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
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Details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. Marston was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth, a psychologist and inventor in her own right, and Olive Byrne, a former student who became an academic. This relationship was key to the creation of Wonder Woman, as Elizabeth and Olive's feminist ideals were ingrained in the character from her creation. Marston died of skin cancer in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive remained a couple and raised their and Marston's children together. The film is said to focus on how Marston dealt with the controversy surrounding Wonder Woman's creation.
A very smart, funny, and inspiring work from one of Comic Books eccentric minds
OK I'm not going to say a whole lot but I'm short: I really like this one.
Even if, by design, it looks like an unexceptional biopic by each fricken frame, the characters and dialogue more than make up for it. The story is centered around William Moulton Marston who - and I'm not kidding here - is 1. The inventor of the lie detector, 2. a radical progressive feminist that thinks women are the superior race with proof in the form of his psychological research 3. One of which include bondage (seriously) 4. Manages to have 2 wives who loved and lived together and 5. Used all his fixations and progressive ideals to invent Wonder Woman.
I mean hell! You could tell me if this guy could turn water into wine and I would believe you. The film knows how bonkers this guy is, but presents him matter-of-factly rather than with scorn or praise. Much like my closest film comparison THE PEOPLE VS LARRY FLINT, it's the type of eccentric, perverse mindset that doesn't allow you to like the man but understand and appreciate how he changed the world with his ideals.
However, the film is mostly concerned with the three-way (sorry) love story at the center. The wife gets all the most complexity as she struggles with her bisexuality, her suppressed opportunities based on her gender, and the everyday family lifestyle that rejects her. It gets deep as well as heartbreaking.
Olive turns out to be the partner of the two, and easily gets more of an arc. At first very shy and uncertain of her status in life, the film progresses her to the free-spirited bisexuality that the movie treats as a hopeful triumph. The best moment is when she dawns the Wonder Woman costume in order to perform S&M ( Just bare with me, guys) and it's presented as a sign of self-discovery rather than gratuitous sleaze. I'm not sure if people like her would connect to this, but I would say it's a lot more hopeful and cathartic than anything BATTLE OF THE SEXES could ever wish to offer.
Angela Robinson directs this with the type of directing chops you expect from a run-of-the-mill miniseries rather than a movie. But much like Patty Jenkins work with WONDER WOMAN, her limited chops is unmatched by the utter love and conviction to the subject matter. It's the type of film where the imperfections make the film more real and self-confident.
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women is a damn good time and the rare biopic you rarely see anymore. Classy, funny, sexy, delightful, brilliantly acted, and overall passionate, you have to see this!
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