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The Notorious Betty Page (R)

Release Date: April 14th, 2006 (Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) by Picturehouse Films.
The Cast: Gretchen Mol, Chris Bauer, Jared Harris, Sarah Paulson, Cara Seymour, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor.
Directed by May Harron.

BASIC PREMISE: During the 1950’s Bettie Page (Mol) rose to fame while posing in nude and bondage photos. Based on a true story.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Gretchen Mol gives a decent performance as Bettie Page in this uneven, dull film. Born and raised with good Christian values in Nashville, Tennessee, Betty raised a lot of eyebrows when she posed nude for magazine photos and even more eyebrows when she posed in bondage for Irving and Paula Klaw (Bauer and Taylor). Although Mol does look sexy in every shot, but there’s not much in terms of character development to full grasp what Betty is like when she’s not posing. This lack of character depth creates a distance between her and the audience and makes it easy to forget that she is actually based on a real person. The plot often feels redundant and boring until an interesting yet brief Senate hearing regarding pornography. On a positive note, director May Harron shoots most of the film in black-and-white which, along with the old costumes and hairstyles, adds an authentic atmosphere to the time period. If only the plot and characters were as lively and engaging as the visuals.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Often redundant and dull.


IN A NUTSHELL: Well-shot with a decent performance by Gretchen Mol, but an uneven, redundant plot and a dull script makes it fade from memory very quickly.


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