Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

The Notorious Bettie Page

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Writer-director Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) and cowriter Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) offer a refreshingly open-minded take on the 50s pinup/porn queen, effectively played by Gretchen Mol as a good-natured airhead. The film captures the garish colors and wispy black and white of home movies and lurid magazines of that period, and there's something provocative about making Page--who dropped out of modeling after she found religion half a century ago--an almost blank slate on which we're invited to write various feminist and queer theories. Which, as it turns out, objectifies her almost as much as porn did. With Chris Bauer, Jared Harris, David Strathairn, and Lili Taylor. R, 91 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Esquire, Landmark's Century Centre.

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