BFI #LFF 2017: PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN Film Review

Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Well-crafted and beautifully shot, PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN is a entertaining biopic about the man behind the world’s most famous female superhero of all time

Angela Robinson’s new biopic about the private life of WONDER WOMAN creator Dr William Moulton Marston couldn’t have come at a better time. Following the success of Patty Jenkin’s film earlier this year and with JUSTICE LEAGUE set for release next month, the world is wild right now for WONDER WOMAN and it’s easy to see why.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN tells the incredible story of psychologist Dr William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) and his polyamorous relationship with the two women in his life – his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their assistant Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). The film imagines the years leading up to the creation of the comic superheroine including the trio’s love story, their link to early feminism and their interest in sadomasochistic play.

Intelligently scripted, wonderfully acted and beautifully shot, PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN is a well-crafted and entertaining biopic about the man (and the women) behind the world’s most famous female superhero of all time. With such an unconventional topic (bondage and BDSM plays a big part in the story), it would be easy for the film to become over sexualized and exploitative, but instead, writer/director Angela Robinson crafts a tender and intimate portrayal of an unconventional family. All three characters are fleshed-out to create real, palpable sexual tension and even the mildly steamy sex scenes are shot tastefully, with Robinson capturing the trio’s unique relationship in a compelling and mature manner.

Rebecca Hall, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Luke Evans delivers a captivating performance as Marston, conveying a highly intelligent and insightful man with a passion for education and social justice. Bella Heathcote is equally superb as Olive, conveying the woman’s confusion, attraction and compassion for William and Elizabeth very well. But it is Rebecca Hall who is the most magnetic of the three leads, bringing the feisty and intelligent Elizabeth to life on screen, as well as delivering some very entertaining one-liners.

Those expecting to see more about the origins of WONDER WOMAN may be a little disappointed with the film somewhat rushing through her creation. That said, the film underlines just how much of a feminist WONDER WOMAN really is and it’s hard not to get caught up in Marston’s passion for the character, whether you’re a comic book fan or not.

All in all, PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN is a captivating and entertaining biopic with an unconventional love story at its heart. You’ll never see the golden lasso in quite the same way again!

(4 / 5)

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN screens at the BFI London Film Festival on 10 October 2017 and is released in UK cinemas on 10 November 2017

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1