Psychologist William Marston (Luke Evans) is lecturing at Harvard College in 1928. Married to his even more intelligent wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), they spend their time outsides lectures developing a lie detector machine based around his DISC theory.
Hypothesising that peoples behaviour is influenced by both their environment and sense of control, he hires a new teaching assistant named Olive Byrne to help with their research. Both threatened by her arrival and attracted by Olive’s radical mind, Elizabeth agrees in a decision that will change all of their lives forever and shape the creation of a modern feminist icon.
…is the story behind the creation of the comic book hero ‘Wonder Woman’.
Intriguing from its very outset, ‘Professor Marston and The Wonder Women’ is the story behind the creation of the comic book hero ‘Wonder Woman’. Steeped in academic research rather than undreamed of super powers, her arrival is birthed by a radical series of relationships that underpin her importance and place in history.
In the lead roles of Elizabeth, Olive and William, it is Rebecca Hall’s often glacial Elizabeth that is the beating heart of this drama that informs the arrival of a goddess. Frustrated by society’s ability to recognise neither her intelligence and competency, Elizabeth is clearly a woman ahead of her time and Hall’s impatience is beautifully conveyed with frequently lacerating, cut-glass remarks. Together with Luke Evan’s earnest William Marston and Bella Heathcote’s captivating Olive, their intertwined fates, trapped inside a restrictive post-war world, highlight a gender subjugated by American society’s norms.
With the increased interest in ‘Wonder Woman’ that director Patty Jenkin’s Marvel movie has brought, ‘Professor Marston and The Wonder Women’ is an entertaining and thoughtful adult-themed addition as to her arrival. By neither dumbing down or diluting this story of a world frightened by change, ‘Professor Marston and The Wonder Women’ is the perfect dramatisation of how she came to be and the real-life struggles that led to her arrival.