The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

Mary Harron directs Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor and Chris Bauer in this biopic of the 1950s bondage and nudes star.

Enjoyably unjudgmental; both the film and Mol’s approach to her iconic character. She’s revelatory in this… sunny, positive, more open than naive and never portrayed as stupid. She’s only ever the victim when she has no agency. The film mixes period appropriate black and white photography, reanimated antiquated establishing shots and bright 8mm holiday footage. Kink and flesh are kept to a relative minimum… I’m not sure whether that adds or detracts. While the film never reaches true greatness, it equally rarely puts a foot wrong. Far less distastefully formulaic than most Hollywood biographies.


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