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'Professor Marston And The Wonder Women' is eye-opening, but ultimately underwhelming

Rebecca Hall is absolutely incredible, though.
Luke Evans and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston
[Photo: Annapurna Pictures]

‘Professor Marston And The Wonder Women’

Director: Angela Robinson

Stars: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Oliver Platt, Connie Britton, JJ Field

Rating: R

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3 (Out Of 5) Globes

Plot: Based on the astonishing true story of how Dr. William Marston (Luke Evans) came up with the idea for the “Wonder Woman” comics, “Professor Marston And The Wonder Women” revolves around the psychologist and Harvard professor, his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). However, their polyamorous relationship is heavily frowned upon by the rest of the world, and soon starts to cost each of them. Inspired by the two women, and buoyed by his fervent feminist ideals, Marston puts all his energy into creating a comic-book that will go on to change the world. 

Review: There’s a good chance that you don’t know the full story behind how “Wonder Woman” actually came to be. But even if you do have an inkling it’s unlikely that you were aware just how startling and radical the antics of Dr. William Marston, his wife Elizabeth, and their lover Olive were, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. “Professor Marston And The Wonder Women” does a taut, detailed, and touching job of highlighting the trifecta’s plight, mostly managing to avoid the tedium that befalls so many biopics. That’s mostly down to the fact that the story is genuinely interesting, but the film is also thoroughly enhanced by its terrific leading performances. Luke Evans’ understanding Marston is the male hero and beacon of hope that we all need this week, while the arc of Bella Heathcote’s Olive from innocent student to strong-willed iconoclast is the backbone of the film. It is the incorrigible Rebecca Hall that is the true delight, though, stealing every scene, and making every moment that she is on-screen fizzle with an energy that you just want to wallow in. It’s just a bit of a shame then that, despite all these positives, “Professor Marston And The Women” actually just peters out, failing to build in any notable manner, and succumbing to the monotonous retelling and tedium that blights the genre. All of which leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed, which is particularly stinging because of its stellar start.