The Notorious Bettie Page

Frustratingly skin deep.

Film Review by Paul Greenwood | 14 Aug 2006
Film title: The Notorious Bettie Page
Director: Mary Harron
Starring: Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor, Jared Harris
Release date: August 11th
Certificate: 18

This somewhat threadbare biopic tells tale of glamour model Bettie Page, who found fame in the "gentleman's" magazines of the early '50s. We race from her early years and a whirlwind of abuse, through her increasingly risque (if repetitive) photo shoots, up to a 1955 "Smut Probe" Senate hearing, as she all the while tries to reconcile her religious beliefs with the notion that she might be doing something wicked. Star Gretchen Mol is certainly game, and what charm the film has is primarily due to her sweet but intelligent performance. The fuzzy black and white photography lends it a period veracity (look out for the glorious Technicolor Miami though), but a lack of insight into Bettie's motivation makes the overall experience frustratingly skin deep. [Paul Greenwood]