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London Film Festival Review: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women – “Sensual and smart”

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Written and directed by Angela Robinson, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is the unconventional true story of one psychology professor (who also happened to create the Wonder Woman comics), his smart and feisty wife, and the woman they both came to love.

William Marston (Luke Evans) and his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) come as a team. They are smart, respected and trying to figure out why their new device – a lie detector – won’t work. They take Olive (Bella Heathcote) on as an assistant but all three soon realise that their feelings are more than professional. William confesses that, while he still loves his wife, he now also loves Olive. And Olive loves him too. But it isn’t just him she loves…

Olive quickly becomes a third, integral, part of their marriage and the three start a relationship that draws controversy from their peers.

So they hide and come up with a ‘story’ to explain why the three of them live together, with all their children. And they try new things behind closed doors that lead William to start a new comic book with a female superhero: Wonder Woman.

The comic, however, draws even more controversy. There is a lot of bondage and women wearing very little clothing. The messages of submission and dominance are deemed inappropriate for the comic’s young audience and William is taken to task for them.

But throughout all of this, the three of them have the courage to let themselves love and be loved in a way that works for them: despite the risks and despite what people would say if they knew.

They are brave enough to do what makes them happy. And, in that, lies the real power of this incredible story. Because society told them they should act in a particular way. And they each realised that if they followed that path, it would be a half-life of sorts. And one they didn’t want to live.

The trio of actors are electric on screen, providing both the sexual chemistry and heartfelt bond these three people share. They are as tantalising as they are sweet and you feel all their ups and downs with them.

Less a story of how Wonder Woman began, and more a tale of living life on your own terms, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is sensual and smart, a stunning film with incredible and totally badass women both in front of and behind the camera.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women opens in the UK on 10th November 2017.

Check out our London Film Festival coverage

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