Professor Marston and the Wonder Women  directed by Angela Robinson
cw: homophobia, kink
Recently, I was scrolling through the Fandago app looking at current movies when this one popped up. I hadn’t heard of it and initially almost scrolled past, thinking it was just the new Wonder Woman movie, until the title caught my eye. I selected it and the summary read:
The unconventional life story of Dr. William Marston, Harvard psychologist and inventor, and the relationship between his wife and his lover, who became her lover after his death, that inspired the iconic super heroine Wonder Woman.
I was immediately intrigued. I hoped for a nice lbpq f/f relationship, and maybe a bit of polyamory. What I got was so much more than that.
I went to a matinee showing at 11am on a Sunday, and there were only a handful of other people in the theater. For the next two hours, I found myself wrapped up in the kind of story I never thought I would see on the big screen. The film is so much more than the blurb implies. In fact, that summary is actually kind of inaccurate. I would rephrase it as “[…] and the relationship between his wife and their lover, who remained together after his death.”
This is not the story, as it initially seems, of a man who took on a lover and then left his lover to his wife. It is the story of a man who brought these two women together. I would argue that the relationship between the two women, Elizabeth (his wife) and Olive (their lover), began sooner, burned stronger, and was more important to the story the film told. Professor Marston did play a role and was part of their triad (a mutual relationship between three people), but the focus was much more heavily put on the women.
Y’all better believe I cried in the theater watching this. As a queer polya woman, this is the kind of representation I never thought I would see in a major theater, on the big screen. It was beautiful to see how deeply in love Elizabeth and Olive were, every scene between them had such incredible chemistry. And to see such a healthy, loving polyamorous relationship portrayed as just amazing. This may be my favorite film of the year, for these reasons.
There has been some talk of historical inaccuracy. I haven’t done a great deal of research, but there seem to be a lot of conflicting reports on the topic. I’m definitely reviewing this film through the lens of cultural importance and enjoyability and not as a documentary or a historical document of any kind.
All in all, this was just a beautiful film and I am so glad I got to enjoy it. It’s not doing very well in the box office, so I encourage you all to go see it and to support it in any way possible, to tell the film industry that movies like this are important, and are wanted.
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