Plot: William Marston (Luke Evans) is a psychology professor interested in the systems of dominance and submission. He has published his findings, but not much attention was bestowed upon his work. He pushes on however, with the help of his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), who is also a brilliant mind in the field, but finds herself restrained by her female presence in a male dominated arena. The two have a fiery passion for both their work and each other, with a strong desire to explore deeper into how the human mind works. A new research assistant has piqued the attention of both Marstons, a beautiful young woman named Olive (Bella Heathcote). At first Elizabeth encourages her husband to pursue his student, but feels the pangs of jealousy and reels her permission back in. But as time passes, the trio form a close bond and it becomes clear that feelings have developed between all three. Of course, social conventions outlaw such a union, but the heart wants what it wants. Can three people pursue a pure love together, even if the world isn’t ready to accept them?
Entertainment Value: I’ve never been someone who was sucked in by love stories in movies, but Professor Marston and the Wonder Women proved to be one of the rare exceptions. Some debate has risen over how accurate this narrative is compared to the real life events, but regardless of that, this is a powerful, effective movie. I was thrilled to see polyamory explored in a respectful way, as movies often dismiss it as either deviant or purely driven by sex. In this film, it is shown as a deep and powerful love shared between three people, in a bond that goes way beyond sex. There is sex of course and those scenes pack a potent eroticism, driven by the incredible chemistry between the performers. The interactions between Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote are some of the best you’ll find as far as relationships in cinema, always passionate even in moments of heartbreak. A scene late in the movie where Elizabeth has to confront her deepest emotions is a stunning, unforgettable scene. The performances by all three leads are excellent, making this love feel real and natural, which is incredibly rare. I do think the time shifts hurt the flow of the movie somewhat, but it isn’t enough of a concern to dwell on that aspect. I found Professor Marston and the Wonder Women to be one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen, a powerful and memorable look inside an unconventional, but pure romance. Even if you aren’t normally one to watch love stories, this is one you won’t want to miss.
The movie has a good deal of sexual content, but it is often verbal or non graphic, such as the bondage sequences. These are tasteful, but highly charged, especially when Elizabeth and Olive explore the rope for the first time. The sex scenes are effective, conveying the raw passion and deep love between the characters, with a good amount of skin without feeling like sleaze or exploitation. These scene prove you can provide an immense sense of eroticism without intensely graphic sexual depictions. Much of this falls on the stars, who have such strong chemistry that it lights up even slightly suggestive scenes. No blood or real violence, just one brief fight breaks out. The BDSM aspect is tame, with some light bondage and submission, as well as spanking in one scene. The dialogue is well written and quite sharp, exploring interesting and complex topics, but doing so in ways that still entertain. Elizabeth has a razor sharp wit and has some great lines, some humorous and others quite intense. The tone here is serious and doesn’t go after camp, so understand the low score is simply based on the wild, off the rails type of dialogue we award points for. But make no mistake, the writing here is on point. In terms of craziness, the polyamory and BDSM elements are depicted in sensitive, respectful fashion, so it never feels like exploitation. The tone is serious and grounded, so not much as far as wackiness.
Overall Insanity: 0/10
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