Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

This year was a big year for Wonder Woman. She had her DC film debut, as the first solo female superhero film in some time (Never forget, Catwoman and Elektra). She broke some records in terms of profit, and easily, she is the best of the current DCEU films.

By a long shot. The ending was still poor and CGI crazy, but for the most part it was still a great film.

But this year we are also getting Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, a film about Wonder Woman, however not a film anyone would expect. We get to learn about how Wonder Woman came to be, her eccentric creator and his interesting lifestyle with the women he dubbed to be wonderful.

Walk
And this is when he takes those wonderful woman off to see the wonderful wizard of oz!

William Marston (Luke Evans), as you may have guessed from the title, was a professor! He taught psychology and even taught classes to just women. It was very progressive for the 1920’s and 30’s. He had a DISC theory about humans, which stood for Dominance, Influence, Submissive, and Compliance, but I won’t get into all of that.

His wife, Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) should have been a professor, but was having issues with her PhD, so she worked closely with her husband in their laboratory. They enjoyed studying the human condition and what makes them tick. On that note, they also hired one of their students to be an office aide, who would work with them over long hours, an Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). She was pretty, young, influential, and William wanted to sex her.

But Elizabeth might have also wanted to sex her.

This is not a love triangle of chasing emotions, this is three consenting adults eventually deciding to enter into free and open relationship with each other, in a world that wouldn’t look too kindly with their situation. And this is just the beginning, because at some point, Wonder Woman gets created out of this. And also the lie detector. Yes, they invent the lie detector.

Also starring Connie Britton, JJ Feild, Oliver Platt, and Chris Conroy.

WW
Oohh, shiny.

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women is a story that happened many decades ago, but could not have been told until very recently. At this point, the world has somewhat caught up to what these three people discovered years ago and can find what they did accepting without a lot of shame.

I am NOT saying that everyone who watches this movie will be comfortable with what occurs, but it treats the subject matter in a fair light, noting the pros and cons of what occurred, along with the fallout. To modify an overused line, this is a better love story than Fifty Shades of Grey (and Twilight, yes).

The acting from the three leads was incredible and believable. This is the best thing Evans has ever done. I previously said that this year with Beauty and the Beast, which was true at the time, but this is Evans finally in a role that shows actual dramatics, without relying on song and CGI. For Heathcote, I don’t know most of her work, but it definitely stands out from some of the shitty movies I have seen her in. Hall is a very accomplished actress, but I would put this near the top of her work as well, definitely showcasing a different sort of range for her.

This movie will make people uncomfortable, but it really feels like a story that needs to be told. It could have gotten to Wonder Woman aspects quicker, to help draw in some of the less patient viewers, but it is a story about unconventional love and how it has changed the world.

4 out of 4.

Austenland

What would the world be like, without Jane Austen? I mean, she is basically the go to source for Victorian era living, of all social groups, right? So, without her, people might not ever aspire to be…well, Elizabeth Bennet, I guess.

I’ve actually read Pride and Prejudice too, I know, surprising. I have also seen the movie, Sense and Sensibility, and a few movies modeled off of the two. But never something like this. Never something like Austenland.

FOTC
Austenland, where everyone is so hot, it makes people sexist.

Let’s talk about Jane Hayes (Keri Russell). She really likes Jane Austen. Like. Really. She has been obsessed with finding her own Mr. Darcy since she was a little girl, and really that is all she thinks about. It has even started to affect her work life.

Well, thanks to some inner city pressure, she finally breaks down and puts her entire life savings into a trip to Austenland! Austenland?? Yes, Austenland. A week long vacation in England to live like they did in Austen times, and experience a person like a character out of a book. Hooray. No, having a week long trip with a fake romance is not a bad idea, just think about it.

The good news is, when she gets there, she is still the most beautiful girl in the room, she just didn’t get a deluxe package so she doesn’t get all the cool stuff with the other guests, Miss Elizabeth Charming (Jennifer Coolidge), very rich, and Lady Amelia Heartwright (Georgia King), a leggie blonde.

But which of these gentlemen will she end up with? There is Mr. Henry Noble (JJ Feild), clearly a Darcy carbon copy, Colonel Andrews (James Callis), very rich and extravagant and nothing like Gaius Baltar, or Captain George East (Ricky Whittle), from the west indies and foreign! But maybe she doesn’t intend to spend her business time with any of them. Maybe she is actually just interested in the stable boy / butler (Bret McKenzie), who is totally real with her and letting her escape the Victorian era she thought she loved so much.

Either way, just because she kisses one guy, they have to realize that a kiss is not a contract.

Also starring Jane Seymour as the hostess, who is not going to meddle with the love affairs of her guests…unless you’re into it. Okay I am done.

Jenny.

the gang
The gang’s all here. So what do they do now? Shit’s boring without internet.

It turns out, Austenland is super fucked up. No, it isn’t just a simple romance comedy. It is very fucked up. Like the end of Bubble Boy fucked up. So somewhat comedic, but also really just out there. I won’t go into it any more, but that is what I felt by the end.

Austenland takes a ridiculous concept, and ridiculous characters and decides to make a movie. The beginning is a mess, and adding Jennifer Coolidge has never made me think better of a movie.

But it does have its moments. There are obvious references to Austen’s work. The male suitors are very entertaining, while being over the top. The plot line between “Darcy”/Bret/Keri was actually interesting by the end, go figure.

And sure, we ended with a relatively happy ending, but sad endings in a romance would be stupid. Austenland may be stupid, but it isn’t that stupid.

2 out of 4.