R Dir: Angela Robinson | Sony | 1h 48min
Plot: What’s it about?
It sometimes happens when we get two movies dealing with either the exact same subject or that feel very similar to each other. I recall 2006 where we had Superman Returns then Hollywoodland a few months later. While those films are vastly different, they both feature Superman as their subject. Superman Returns is obviously a superhero film and Hollywoodland was more about George Reeves, but you get the idea. That brings us to 2017 where we had a little movie called Wonder Woman and now Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Both films were also directed by females. They’re also vastly different, and I’d be willing to bet that many folks haven’t even heard of Marston, but it’s definitely an interesting film and one that’s worth seeing. If anything, one film can sort of make you want to see the other. While not a pure origin story of how Wonder Woman came to be, it does offer some very good insight into the creator and his polyamorous relation.
Professor Marston (Luke Evans) is working on the DISC theory and with the aid of his new assistant, Olive Byrne (Belle Heathcote), he also invented the lie detector which is featured a good deal in this film. We begin in 1945 where Marston is giving testimony about the subject matter and content of some of the Wonder Woman comics. We cut back to 1928 where Marston decides to bring on Olive. His wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) promises she is ok with this. We see these three characters each put themselves through the lie detector and it’s revealed that they’re all in love with each other. Their relationship only grows over the course of the film. It’s fun to watch Elizabeth as she isn’t one who is afraid to speak her mind and use profanity on more than a few occasions. When it’s revealed that Olive gets pregnant, the three of them decide to move in together. They formulate a lie that they tell the neighbors and others just as a cover. Needless to say, things eventually grow more troublesome and complicated. I enjoyed seeing Olive as she first dons the Wonder Woman outfit. I’m sure more diehard comic fans will appreciate it as well. All of the actors are wonderful in their parts. Hall gives what is probably her best performance so far.
I can’t say the trailers for Marston did much for me, but I’m happy I decided to check it out at home. The film moves at a nice pace and gives us plenty of character development. I also had no clue what exactly the film would be about, at least not the polyamorous angle that’s presented here. For that reason, the film might not be for everyone, but it deserves a look for those with a more open mind. I really can’t say I’ve seen a film quite like this before. Have an idea of what to expect and give this one a chance. I’m glad I did.
Video: How’s it look?
Right away I noticed how pristine this image looked. The details and definition grabbed me early on. This film nicely recreates the era its set in and that detail shows in pretty much every scene. The clothing, vehicles, and interiors as well. All the colors are accurate and deep, making them appear so natural and pleasing to the eyes. I really have no issues with this transfer, it presents the film wonderfully. We get an AVC encoded image with a 2.39:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
While certainly not as pleasing as the transfer, the DTS HD track still does what it needs to. You won’t mistake this for an earth shattering experience, but this isn’t the film for that. The vocals are presented clearly and naturally sounding and the music here and there comes across nice as well. It should please fans of the film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- A Dynamic Trio: Birth of a Feminist Icon – This goes for a shade under 8 minutes, but still provides some decent insight. We learn of Marston’s works and the development of Wonder Woman.
- A Crucial Point of View: Directing Professor Marston and the Wonder Women – Here, we learn of the Directors research into getting the film made and details about the Marston character. It’s worth a look.
- The Secret Identity of Charles Moulton Motion Comic – This is a brief animated feature about the film’s main characters. It’s fun to check out despite its brevity.
- Deleted Scenes – Three scenes appear here, though all were wisely deleted.
- Previews – Other Sony titles are featured.
The Bottom Line
This one took me a bit by surprise. I had no idea the kind of story I was getting into, but I still enjoyed it. The cast (especially Rebecca Hall) all turn in fine performances and the film gives good insight into the characters. I’d advise a rental for those curious. Recommended.