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The Notorious Bettie Page

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
The Notorious Bettie Page
from Film Forum, 04/20/06

Gretchen Mol, who was hailed by Vanity Fair as Hollywood's new "it girl" more than a decade ago, is back in a glamorous leading role as The Notorious Bettie Page.

Director Mary Harron's film about the famous 1950s pinup acknowledges that Page came from a Christian home, and that her faith has influenced her life, but it gives plenty of adoring attention to her provocative posing as well, so viewers should proceed with caution.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Mol captures both Page's appearance and playful personality, but Harron's movie … lacks form and depth, not offering more than a superficial treatment of Page's religious convictions and her conflicted attitude toward pornography."

Mainstream critics are giving Betty mixed reviews.

from Film Forum, 04/27/06

Greg Wright (Hollywood Jesus) writes, "If Pleasantville sang the praises of unfettered sexual awakening, The Notorious Bettie Page employs a similar black-and-white-world-gone-color technique to reach quite a different conclusion: that there's bondage and blinders, and then there's moral restraint—and that there's a world of difference between the two. Pleasantville threw off the former while glibly dismissing the latter; Notorious takes both equally seriously."