It’s LGBT History Month in the United States and there’s one movie that needs to be seen to celebrate it: Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston & the Wonder Women.
The film tells the true story of American psychologist William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), who created the character Wonder Woman. And who are the wonder women credited in the title? His wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marson (Rebecca Hall), and their lover, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote).
That premise may sound intriguing enough on its own but if not, here are six more reasons to check out the film.
1. Writer-Director Angela Robinson
Robinson is a gay woman of color, telling the story of real, historical queer women. There is an astounding lack of diverse creators in Hollywood, nonetheless a woman of color who’s part of the LGBTI community. This means there is also a specific need to support these creators. Previously, she directed and wrote episodes of True Blood and The L Word. Now, she’s shining a spotlight on a riveting and important story about an iconic character, queer women, and polyamory.
2. Queer Women
Speaking of queer women, the lack of them in media, depicted respectfully or not at all, is not a secret. The trope Bury Your Gays, keeping happy endings from queer characters (especially women, often due to the result of death), is far too common. Stereotypical portrayals and bit parts are far less than what media should be giving these individuals. However, Professor Marston is an unexpected and intimate look at exactly these individuals. It’s a bonus the movie tells the story of real life queer women.
Olive lived with William and Elizabeth, even after William’s death. Elizabeth named one of her daughters after Olive and they each had Marston’s children.
3. Polyamorous Relationships
Relationships that are not ‘conventional’ are often willfully misunderstood. This includes polyamory. By its definition, polyamory is ‘the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time’. While Elizabeth and Olive’s specific, full relationship is unclear, there is evidence there was at least a deep bond and affection.
It also explores the specifics of the trifecta’s relationship, including bondage, shedding a whole new light on Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.
4. Wonder Woman
There’s also the simple appeal of learning the true origins of Wonder Woman. Historians believe both Olive and Elizabeth were the inspirations for William’s creator of the Amazonian superhero.
With the success of the Wonder Woman movie earlier this year, this story is both timely and compelling.
5. Untapped History
History is full of stories we don’t know. Some are worth exploring, and others less so. However, this is definitely one worth telling, for all the reasons above. The stories of the LGBTI community, people of color, women, and beyond are represented at a disproportionately low rate. It’s why there are fights to include more diverse history in education.
This story is for DC fans, female audiences, movie lovers, and beyond, and its history is worth sharing.
Best of all, the reviews for this movie are in and they’re good. The movie sits at an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is certified fresh.
Famed critic Leonard Maltin explains ‘there’s no denying that this is fascinating material, the kind you couldn’t and wouldn’t make up –Writer-director Angela Robinson has taken on a formidable challenge in telling this story’.
Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal says the film ‘stands head, shoulders, boots, tiara and lasso above many independent films of the moment’.
Furthermore, Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers explains the ‘story of the polyamorous trio who created D.C.’s iconic Amazonian hero doesn’t skimp on the kinky sex — or the sense of female empowerment’.
Check out the trailer: