Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

“I created her.”

This, a retelling of the little-known true story behind the creation of Wonder Woman, is a real treat to watch. With a running time of 108 minutes the film is a superhero movie like no other whilst also being a truly lovely unconventional love story. At it’s heart is three people – the eponymous Professor William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), his wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their mistress Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). Thrown into each others paths at Tufts University in Massachusetts, when Olive applies for the post of teaching assitant to the married couple’s research, there’s an immediate, electric – and truly illicit – connection between the trio.

Inspired by the two loves of his life, both of whom he felt embodied feminism at its truest and most powerful, along with utilizing his knowledge of psychology, he created one of the world’s most beloved comic book characters Wonder Woman made her comic book debut in 1941 and someone who is still, to this day, the most successful female superhero of all time. To Marston she personified liberalism, independence, strength and love – an allegorical figure who represented the kind of leader he felt society deserved and needed.

It’s incredible, in only the way cinema can be, that this origin story has been released just a few short months after Wonder Woman (finally!) got her own big screen origin story (click here for my review) her controversial non-fictional origins gets shared with the masses. At times the story may be too slicky told for it’s own good, perhaps never getting to complete grips with the dynamics and ideas that it wants to explore and yet there’s something rather charming about the film as a whole.

A brief stint on Google would provide the exact truth behind this polyamorous relationship and yet there was something so endearing about it’s depiction here that I’m loathe to do so. The central trio of Evans, Hall and Heathcote are evenly matched and each is truly charming in their portrayal of three very different but very united people. Although the love scenes are very sensual they never stray into scandalous. The domestic scenes at home feel very simillar to any other more conventional family set-up, with the filmmakers showing the wonderful in the mundane.

It’s a wittily told period story. A carefully crafted love story. An unexpected yet truly affecting origin story told oh-so sweetly. A delight to behold and a film that does something that seemed impossible – making Wonder Woman seem even cooler than you already though she was.

4 stars

In UK cinemas from November 10th. 

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