The Notorious Bettie Page | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Notorious Bettie Page 

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.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Popular Stories

  • A silence louder than words

    How allegations of sexual abuse exposed cracks in the foundation of Young Chicago Authors, Free Write Arts & Literacy, and the city’s spoken word community
    |
  • Book It

    New and recent book releases from Chicago authors and publishers
    |
  • Weed Wolf, the tagger

    'No matter how lame or artsy-fartsy it is, I'll take anything over a poo-brown wall'
  • Comedy is back, baby!

    A glimpse at how stand-ups coped during the pandemic and made their triumphant return to telling jokes again.
    |